Council leaders across the North East and Tees Valley met on Thursday to discuss the Covid situation in the region and a potential move into the ‘very high’ Covid alert level.
But following Thursday’s meeting political leaders in the North East have agreed that the data supported the region remaining in Tier 2, a source has confirmed.
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They told the PA news agency: “The Government accepted that the previous spike was due to students and that the cases are plateauing.
The meeting followed a warning from North East political leaders on Monday, October 26, that they will “resist any attempt” to impose Tier 3 lockdown measures on the region.
In a statement leaders reiterated their belief that current Tier 2 measures are “the right level for our communities”, fearing the business closures caused by tougher local lockdown rules would devastate the region’s economy.
But ahead of the meeting on Thursday, Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said it was important to “keep all options on the table”, while Tees Valley MP Jacob Young said he thought the Tees Valley will be placed in the toughest Tier 3 restrictions “within the next week or so”.
Although it was decided that the region should remain under Tier 2, the situation could still change as the next meeting with the Government about possibly being placed in Tier 3 is expected to take place on Monday.
An earlier meeting with Government ministers and Tees Valley leaders is also set to take place on Friday, October 30.
The leaders of Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington, Stockton and Hartlepool councils, the Mayor of Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley Mayor said in a statement that they will be having further discussions with ministers tomorrow.
However the group stressed that they had not reached an agreement with the Government over entering Tier 3 following Thursday’s meeting.
Councillor Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “The Government informed us late last night of their intention to take the Tees Valley into Tier 3 restrictions.
“We have had an initial meeting with ministers this afternoon where they again stressed this intention due to the current infection rate and the increased number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19.
“We will be having further discussions tomorrow but nothing has been agreed.”
A move into Tier 3 would mean that pubs and bars will have to close down unless they are serving “substantial meals”, while also preventing residents making overnight stays in other parts of the UK or meeting up with people from other households in private gardens.
That comes on top of current Tier 2 restrictions banning households from mixing in any indoor setting.