North East Lockdown: 7 fun things you can still do amid tightened local restrictions

New lockdown restrictions came into force in parts of the North East on 18 September, in response to a rapid rise in coronavirus infection rates
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Stricter lockdown restrictions were introduced in parts of the North East of England on 18 September, following a concerning rise in infection rates.

Coronavirus cases in the region rose to the second highest in the country last week, after the North West, forcing local leaders to introduce new measures in an effort to prevent further spread.

Local restrictions

New lockdown rules were introduced on 18 SeptemberNew lockdown rules were introduced on 18 September
New lockdown rules were introduced on 18 September
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The new rules now prevent people from socialising with others outside of their own household, or support bubble, in private homes and gardens.

Measures have also restricted hospitality for food and drink to table service only, while a late night restriction operating hours have been introduced forcing leisure and entertainment venues to close between 10pm to 5am.

The changes apply to Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham, with these areas now escalated to areas of national intervention.

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What am I still allowed to do?

While the new rules have restricted the ability to socialise with family and friends, there are still things you can do for fun amid the tightened lockdown.

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If you’re struggling for ideas to keep yourself entertained, here are a few things you are still allowed to do.

Go on a staycation

People who live in the affected areas are still permitted to go on holiday, but this must only be with people who live in their own household, or are in their support bubble.

As such, it is still possible to take a relaxing staycation here in the UK.

Visit the beach

Enjoying a day out at the beach is allowed under the new rules, providing you do not socialise with people you do not live with, unless they are in your support bubble. This rule applies both inside and outside of the areas affected by the local lockdown restrictions.

Picnic in the park

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Again, visiting an outdoor venue is still allowed under the tightened restrictions. Why not take advantage of the warm weather and enjoy a trip to your local park to soak up some fresh air, and perhaps even enjoy a picnic.

However, you should only visit the park with members of your own household or support bubble.

Dine out

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will remain open amid the new restrictions, but will be limited to table service only and must close at 10pm.

However, you can still enjoy a meal out or a pint at the pub, although you must only visit with members of your household or support bubble, and not socialise with anyone outside of these.

Watch a film

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Leisure and entertainment venues are still open for business, including cinemas.

While there may not be any new releases, other than the Christopher Nolan film Tenet, cinemas are still showing a number of films. Empire Sunderland is currently showing Bill & Ted Face the Music, Onward, The Invisible Man and Unhinged, among others.

If you do make a trip to the cinema, you must only attend with members of your household or support bubble.

Take a swim

Going to the swimming pool is still permitted, providing the venue has Covid-secure guidelines in place, meaning you can still go for a dip and enjoy a bit of light exercise.

Work up a sweat

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As with swimming pools, going to the gym and attending a gym class is also still allowed under the new restrictions, so long as Covid-secure guidelines are in place.

If you are keen to stay active during lockdown, heading to the gym is a great way to ensure you maintain your fitness and stay healthy.