Pub curfews, who you can socialise with, holidays, public transport and watching sport – the new rules to reduce the spread of Covid-19

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has set out the new restrictions for the North East in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

It has been confirmed that the North East will have further measures in place as of midnight on Friday, September 18.

The move follows seven local councils in the region – Sunderland, South Tyneside, Northumberland, County Durham, North Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle – joining forces to call on the Government to tighten restrictions in an bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

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Following further discussions with council leaders, the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), and the Chief Medical Officer for England have agreed to escalate those places to areas of national intervention.

Matt Hancock has set out the new restrictions for the North East. Photo: Getty Images.Matt Hancock has set out the new restrictions for the North East. Photo: Getty Images.
Matt Hancock has set out the new restrictions for the North East. Photo: Getty Images.

That means from Friday 18th September, regulations will ban the following:

Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens

Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only

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Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm to 5am

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

Not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues

Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work

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Take holidays only within your own household or support bubble

Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators

The changes come as cases in the North East have risen to the second highest in the country, after the North West.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, set out the new restrictions in the House of Commons on Thursday, September 17.

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Mr Hancock started the briefing by saying that the infection rate in Sunderland currently stands at around 103 cases per 100,000 people and it is well above 70 per 100,000 in other areas of the region.

He said: “After seeing cases in the North East rise to a concerning level, local authorities requested support for tighter restrictions and we have taken swift action to accept their recommendations.

“We do not take these decisions lightly but I know the people of the North East will work together and break the chains of transmission.

“I urge those from affected areas: please, get a test if you are symptomatic, stay at home if you are required to self-isolate, and think: hands, face, space. This is the only way for us to return to a more normal way of life and avoid further restrictions.”

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These changes are in addition to the nationwide 6-person limit on social gatherings that came into force on Monday. This rule is in place across the country and will sit alongside additional restrictions in some local areas.

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