Northeast England faces new restrictions amid COVID-19 spike

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Shoppers, some wearing face masks, walk along Oxford Street in London, England, on September 16, 2020. While the UK continues to edge towards economic recovery some 3,991 new coronavirus cases were recorded today, in what is the highest daily figure in the country since May 8. Prime Minister Boris Johnson meanwhile today told a parliamentary committee that he did not want a second national lockdown as part of the ongoing response to the covid-19 crisis. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Shoppers, some wearing face masks, walk along Oxford Street in London, England, on September 16, 2020. While the UK continues to edge towards economic recovery some 3,991 new coronavirus cases were recorded today, in what is the highest daily figure in the country since May 8. Prime Minister Boris Johnson meanwhile today told a parliamentary committee that he did not want a second national lockdown as part of the ongoing response to the covid-19 crisis. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

New restrictions on social contact between households and a 10 pm curfew on pubs are expected to be introduced in parts of north-east England in an attempt to curb rising coronavirus cases.

Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle city council, confirmed that “additional, temporary restrictions” were being planned to prevent another full lockdown for the region.

Multiple sources confirmed that the measures, due to be announced on Thursday morning, will include a 10 pm curfew on pubs and bars and a ban on mixing between households. They will come into effect from midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning.

The restrictions are expected to apply to Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham, and Sunderland, but not Teesside. They will cover a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

The new measures are expected to include a ban on care home visits for all but “essential visitors” – the first such measure since the UK-wide lockdown in spring.

It is also expected that people will be told not to go on holiday with other households and to avoid public transport for non-essential journeys.

It would be the first time the government has imposed strict measures on such a wide region since restrictions were introduced in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, West Yorkshire, and Leicester on 31 July.

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