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North East England lockdown rules: What are they and how will they affect me?
17 September 2020, 12:04 | Updated: 17 September 2020, 14:08
New coronavirus restrictions in the North East were confirmed today to stop a surge of coronavirus in its tracks.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new rules that place the North East under lockdown from midnight tonight, and said "the battle" against COVID-19 was not over as "further action" must be taken.
The government "does not take these decisions lightly," he added, as he laid out details of the new rules.
But what are the new restrictions and how are they going to affect me?
What are the North East lockdown restrictions?
Pubs, bars and restaurants will be given a curfew to close between 10pm and 5am each evening, and they will be reduced to table service only.
Households have also been banned from meeting with anyone outside of support bubbles - both in private and public settings.
Earlier on Thursday, health minister Edward Argar explained the reasons behind imposing curfews by comparing the spike in the North East to that in the North West, where he said the "nighttime economy" had led to people flouting social distancing rules.
He told Sky News: "Where we need to, we step in and take action."
When does the North East lockdown come into effect?
The rules will take effect from midnight today.
Which towns are affected by the North East lockdown?
Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Northumberland, Sunderland, County Durham, North Tyneside and South Tyneside are all included in these latest restrictions.
This is an area of around 2 million people and comes after locations such as Newcastle, South Tyneside and Gateshead all recorded more than 70 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people.
Sunderland, meanwhile, has a rate of 103 cases per 100,000 people.