'It could cripple us': Businesses fear what local lockdown could mean for them as coronavirus rates rise in South Tyneside
Businesses fighting back from months of closures and restrictions have warned a new localised lockdown could prove the end for many.
The borough saw a weekly rise in cases, up to 50.3 per 100,000 people as of rolling seven-day figures up to September 1, with 76 new cases recorded in that period.
South Tyneside Council has said the majority are linked to household transmission, with a number connected visits to hospitality businesses.
Owner Shah Lalon Amin said: “To be honest, it would cripple us because during the first lockdown, it was a really difficult time mentally, it caused us anxiety, and we have done everything we can within the guidelines when we opened up.”
He added measures such as those in Greater Manchester, where people cannot mix with households outside their support bubble, but can still visit restaurants, would help if the decision was made to impose stricter rules.
"I think if there was another lockdown, I very much doubt we would survive and I think quite a lot of businesses around here wouldn’t,” said Ruth.
"We can’t do any more than we are, we've got the hand sanitizer, people are wearing their face masks.
"If they were going to do it, they would have to help us all out.”
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said she and Jarrow MP Kate Osborne are in regular contact the council and warned another lockdown would be “devastating” for businesses.
She added: “This is a crunch time for us and we need to make sure we are following the guidance, having already lost people to this terrible virus.
"These small independent businesses are the lifeblood of our town and are run by so many hard-working people, they need our support.”