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Yesterday I joined a zoom meeting with the Health Minister Nadine Dorries and Professor Peter Kelly, Director of Public Health for the North East, to discuss new measures which will come into force in our region at midnight tonight.

The measures have been brought in because covid-19 cases in some areas of the north east are now very high, especially in Sunderland and Newcastle.  Although the rates in Northumberland are much lower, they are rising fast so the decision has been taken to include our county in the measures in the hope that we can reverse that trend quickly.

I will be reviewing figures on a ward level and making the case for wards or areas to be removed from the restricted area as soon as possible. I do not want to see these restrictions in place any longer than is necessary and I will be pushing for them to be lifted as soon as case numbers start to decline once more.

The measures being brought in do not constitute a “lockdown”. People will continue to be able to go to work, school, restaurants and cafes and go on holiday.  However, there will be tighter restrictions on mixing between households.

The changes:

  • There will be no socialising between households allowed, indoors or outdoors. If you have a support bubble (where one person living alone is added to your household)  or children under shared custody agreements, those arrangements remain unaffected;
  • There will be restrictions on the “night time economy”. Bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes, bowling alleys, cinemas, and nightclubs will have to close between 10pm and 5am;
  • The existing guidance that restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars should offer table service only, will now become a hard and fast rule;
  • Only essential visits to care homes and hospitals will be allowed;
  • People should not go on holiday with people from other households.

I will be keeping my website up to date with links and information to all Government advice on this, and will of course send out further emails if and when there is a change to the restrictions.

Best wishes


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