North East leaders 'expected to ask for third national lockdown' as covid cases soar

North East leaders are expected to urge the Government to impose a national lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 4:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 4:51 pm
The Government is set to announce whether the region and other parts of the country will be moved into more stringent Tier 4 restrictions on Wednesday, December 30

And, while it is not yet known which tier the region will be placed in, it is understood to be “on the cusp” of Tier 4.

If the move happens it would essentially see the region return to the restrictions imposed during the November lockdown.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Non-essential retailers, gyms, hairdressers, barbers and sports facilities would all have to close.

A source from within LA7 said that council leaders across Newcastle, County Durham, Sunderland, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Gateshead, are set to ask the Government to consider a national lockdown on Wednesday.

This is expected to be released after the region finds out which tier it will be placed in.

It is understood that council bosses believe that a national lockdown is the only way of protecting health and care services along with the most vulnerable.

Leaders are also expected to argue that this measure is needed to halt to the spread of newer coronavirus variants while the vaccine roll out continues.

The statement is also expected to neither support or condemn any move into a higher tier, but will urge residents to comply with any restrictions imposed.

And it will reiterate what these restrictions are depending on the decision made by Government.

It is highly likely that more parts of England will be moved to Tier 4, while Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has not ruled out enforcing Tier 4 across the whole country.

Mr Gove told BBC Breakfast: “We review which tiers parts of the country should be in on the basis of scientific evidence.

“The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) will be making a recommendation to ministers, but I can’t pre-empt that because it obviously has to be a judgement based on the medical situation.

“As you quite rightly point out, the NHS is under pressure and these are difficult months ahead.”