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Sunderland in tier 2 of lockdown restrictions - what that means and how will things change in the North East

Boris Johnson has set out plans for a new three-tier lockdown system which means one elements of the restrictions in the North East will ease.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 4:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 10:02 am

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Speaking in Parliament the Prime Minister said: “Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the high alert level."

The North East will currently be placed under the ‘high’ tier meaning the region will not currently face any new restrictions.

Sunderland has been placed under tier two measures

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It would also mean that families and friends are able to gather in groups of six in private gardens.

Tighter restrictions will, however, be imposed in Merseyside meaning bars, pubs and some leisure and entertainment facilities will be forced to close from Wednesday (October 14) in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

On Monday, October 12, Mr Johnson said more people are now in hospital with Covid-19 than when the country first went into lockdown in March 23.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

So what is the three-tier system?

Tier 1: Medium

The medium alert level will cover most of the country and will consist of the current national measures. This includes the rule of six and the 10pm curfew on the hospitality industry and other national measures.

Tier 2: High

All mixing between different households and support bubbles indoors is prohibited. In these areas the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors – where Mr Johnson says it is ‘harder for the virus to spread in public spaces as well as private gardens’.

Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions, including the North East, will automatically move into the ‘high’ tier.

Discussions are ongoing with leaders in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber.

As a result of rising infection rates, Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will move into the high level.

Tier 3: Very high

Pubs and bars will be forced to close and “social mixing” indoors and in private gardens will be banned at the minimum.

Retail, schools and universities will remain open.

Groups of up to six people could still be permitted to meet outside in public spaces.

In each area Mr Johnson says the Government will work with leaders on additional measures which should be taken – including further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment and personal care industries.

The Prime Minister says the Government will provide further support and funding to these areas.

In Merseyside - where the very high tier is being imposed - gyms, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close alongside pubs and bars.

These restrictions will come in place on Wednesday, October 14.

Mr Johnson said he was continuing to seek agreement with other leaders in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber.

What changes in the North East?

There will be no new restrictions in the North East yet although Mr Johnson says engagement with local leaders is ongoing.

The new tier system, which will be launched on Wednesday (October 14), will mean those living in the nine affected local authorities will have to follow the ‘high’ tier rules – providing discussion with the region’s leaders don’t mean it is moved to the ‘very high’ tier.

The tier two restrictions are predominately the rules which were already in place in the region following two waves of restrictions – imposed on September 18 and 30.

Although families and friends in tier two areas will be able to gather outdoors in groups of up to six in private gardens.

Could further restrictions be imposed in the North East?

Mr Johnson did not rule out possible further restrictions in the region and says discussions are ongoing.

During his speech at the House of Commons, he said: “Engagement with other leaders in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber is continuing.

"I know how difficult this is, they, like us and everyone in this house, are grappling with very real dilemmas but we cannot let the NHS fall over when lives are at stake.

"So let me repeat the offer we are making to those local authorities – work with us on these difficult but necessary measures in the areas which are rated very high in return for more support for test and trace, more funding for local enforcement, the offer of help from the armed forces and the job support scheme as announced by the Chancellor.

"I believe not to act would be unforgivable so I hope that rapid progress can be made in the coming days.”

Read More

Read More
Read more: Uncertainty over North East tier level as discussions are ‘ongoing’

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