North-east England in Tougher Lockdown as COVID-19 Cases Rise

A sign of precautionary health and safety measures is seen on Northumberland Street amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Newcastle Britain

The new lockdown rules in the North East will apply in Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland, following a dramatic spike in infections in the region.

The Health Secretary said this will include no mixing between households and a 10pm curfew for pubs, hospitality and entertainment venues.

"That's why we are acting now as a preventative measure to try to put off any further spread of the virus and ensure that we don't end up here in the North East in a more restrictive lockdown instead".

"We are awaiting confirmation from government on the final version of the regulations; I am expecting an announcement by the health secretary at 11am tomorrow".

"The Government ignored that advice, the testing regime is collapsing and so it is not surprising national restrictions are back on the table".

This comes after Health Minister Nadine Dorries met with 22 MPs from the north-east of England - the same day the United Kingdom recorded it. The highest number of corona virus daily Infections since May.

"I know that the people of the North East will come together to defeat this virus as defeat it we must".

She said: "It appears we are now in a position where the spread of the virus is no longer being adequately controlled, with new cases almost tripling compared with the end of August".

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Across the United Kingdom, another 3,395 new cases have been confirmed.

"We are working with the government on a plan for what those could mean and how we can get those measures in place over the next few weeks to protect our communities and having to go into another prolonged, damaging lockdown".

It comes as the head of NHS Test and Trace denied it was "failing", and a senior minister hit out at people for "carping" about its flaws.

But she said the size of the system had been based on modelling by the Government's scientific advisers, and suggested the problems were exacerbated by people without symptoms seeking tests for which they were ineligible.

Given the recurrence of the epidemic, many people with symptoms can not access a test that has been heavily criticized by the government.

North Eastern MPs have called on the new restrictions to be regularly reviewed.

"I'm afraid the system is now struggling with real demand", admitted Boris Johnson, and again promised to increase the screening capacity to 500,000 daily tests by the end of October.

According to data unveiled by the government, coronavirus cases across the United Kingdom have increased by 3,991, taking the total to 378,219.

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