Christmas shopping warning from Council leaders as North East is placed in Tier 3
Local authority leaders in the North East have praised the reopening of non-essential retail before Christmas but have warned that it will result in busy town and city centres.
The LA7 have issued a joint statement urging members of the public to stick to the rules as they head out to do their Christmas shopping this December.
Despite the North East leaving the national lockdown with tier 3 restrictions, all non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen from Thursday, December 3.
Leaders across the region have warned that this will result in busy town and city centres, and have encouraged the public to be careful and support local businesses.
The statement said: “The reopening of shops and retail outlets is certainly welcome but we know this will result in busy town and city centres as people head out for their Christmas shopping.
“It is important that we support local independent businesses and if you head to the larger, busier outlets please follow the guidance and stick to hands, face, space at all times.
"Small changes to your plans could make a huge difference. Use active travel if possible or park your vehicle in quieter car parks and keep two metres apart from people from other households at every opportunity."
The LA7 also urged people to be “responsible” over the five-day relaxation of Covid-19 rules during the Christmas period, highlighting we need “to protect ourselves”.
They added: “Even though the UK will see a relaxation of the rules over Christmas, with three households allowed to meet over a five-day period, we still need to do so responsibly to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
Under tier 3 restrictions, households will not be allowed to meet indoors or outdoors, wedding receptions are banned, spectators cannot attend live events such as football matches and the hospitality industry must remain closed.
This means that if the region isn’t downgraded to tier 2 before Christmas, all pubs and restaurants in the North East will have to keep their doors shut during what would be the busiest time of year for them.
As well as the reopening of non-essential retail and gyms, schools, universities and places of worship will stay open.