Government pushing for Tier 3 but North East leaders are 'kicking back' further restrictions
Political leaders across the region have resisted being put into the “very high risk” tier of Covid-19 restrictions.
Council leaders say that moving the North East from Tier 2 to Tier 3 would cause economic damage for “no reason”.
Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne elected mayor, has confirmed that the region is yet to hear a response from Government ministers about a decision over Covid measures.
Mayor Driscoll also revealed that the deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, has accepted that the number of new coronavirus cases in the North East has stabilised and that the NHS had the capacity to cope.
He told the Press Association that it was “notable” that main centres of infection were in “private homes, and then schools, universities, care homes and workplaces”.
He added: “None of which are affected by a Tier 3 lockdown, so Tier 3 would cause economic damage for no reason. North East leaders are very strongly resistant to Tier 3.
“It’s not just about financial support. It would actually make matters worse because it would drive behaviour into unregulated spaces away from Covid-compliant businesses.”
Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said the Government “seemed to be pushing” for Tier 3 in the North East but claimed that “we’re kicking back”.
As it stands, Stockton-on-Tees is the worst affected area of the region, with 444.4 cases per 100,000 people.