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North-east England to face further COVID-19 restrictions

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Areas of north-east England will be subject to further COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, British housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Wednesday, declining to give further details pending an official announcement on Thursday.

Jenrick told ITV’s Peston programme the restrictions would come into force on Friday.

Reports suggest 22 MPs were briefed by the UK health minister Nadine Dorries earlier on Wednesday.

The leader of Newcastle city council Nick Forbes said he expected the UK health and social care secretary Matt Hancock to make an announcement on Thursday morning.

The measures are expected to include a 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and other licensed premises, and that people will be banned from socialising with anyone outside their own household, whether indoors or outdoors.

Reports indicate that care home visits will be restricted to essential visitors, and people will be advised to avoid public transport at peak times except for essential journeys, and to avoid car-shares.

The restrictions will reportedly apply to Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland – which have all seen rises in cases, according to the latest weekly figures.

The most recent numbers show Newcastle has recorded a sharp increase in its weekly rate, up from 51.2 to 64.1, with 194 new cases in the seven days to 13 September.

It comes after local measures in the likes of Greater Manchester and Birmingham have been put in place in an effort to stem rising infection rates.

Read more via ITV News

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