THE North East has been given fresh lockdown rules as new coronavirus cases have skyrockets.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced tough new restrictions for nearly two million people in huge swathes of the country, including Newcastle, with curfews on pubs from midnight TONIGHT.
The drastic new restrictions will apply to Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland after a rise in cases.
The rate of coronavirus in Sunderland has soared to 103 cases per 100,000 and the figures in South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle are all above 70 per 100,000.
There were 141 new cases in South Tyneside, up from 92 the previous week, and 198 in county Durham, a rise from 172.
Can I see friends and family?
No, not if they are in a different household or outside of your social bubble.
Brits in local lockdown areas won't be allowed to meet up with other households outdoors, in homes, pubs or restaurants from tonight.
This is over fears coronavirus is mainly spreading from big gatherings at homes, even after the new rule of six was introduced.
Different households are banned from mixing apart from at schools, work and university.
Mr Hancock said today: "People in these areas must not socialise outside their own outside their own households and support bubble."
It comes after the PM warned of a "second hump" of Covid-19 in the UK, and said the nation will have to follow a tough love approach to save Christmas.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes told BBC Radio 4's Today said this morning:"We know from the tracing that we're doing, that the three main areas where we're seeing the spread of the virus at the moment are in pubs and bars, in people's homes….and in grassroots sports."
People should also avoid going to watch amateur and semi-professional sporting events.
Can kids still go to school?
Yes. The PM has been adamant that schools will remain open even in local lockdown areas.
People should avoid public transport for all but essential reasons – including going to work and school.
Kids and teachers will have to self-isolate if anyone in their class bubble shows symptoms of coronavirus.
The Sun revealed yesterday 740 schools across the country have had to send classes or even entire year groups home because of suspected cases within the school.
Can I go to the pub?
Yes. Brits in the North East will still be able to go to pubs and restaurants.
But they are only allowed to go there with people in their households.
And new curfew rules mean pubs and restaurants will be forced to close from 10pm to try and stem the virus spreading as people pile into packed venues and forget about social distancing while drinking.
Mr Hancock told the Commons: "Hospitality will be restricted to table service only and late night restrictions.
"Leisure and entertainment venues will have to close between 10pm and 5am."
Mr Forbes said this morning: "So in pubs and restaurants, we've asked for a 10pm curfew or 10pm closure of all pubs and restaurants.
"And we've also asked for table service only to prevent people congregating and standing around bar areas. It's much easier for people to maintain social distancing if it's seating only."
Can I go to work?
Yes. People can still go to offices and other Covid-secure work places.
The Government has been pushing people to return to offices to try and boost the economy after the national lockdown.
But staff have to be extra careful and follow social distancing rules as well as washing their hands frequently.
Could pubs and restaurants be closed again?
Not just yet.
But in areas of the UK where bans on meeting other households have not stopped the virus spreading pubs and restaurants have had to close.
Food and drink venues in Bolton were forced to close and only offer takeaway after other local lockdown measures failed to work.
Can I go on holiday?
People who live in local lockdown areas can still go on holiday, but ONLY with people from your own household or support bubble.
When on holiday, you still won't be able to socialise or meet with other households – even if it's in an area that is not under local lockdown.
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