Covid lockdowns in north-east England: new rules explained

Nazia Parveen
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

A swathe of north-east England has been put under enhanced lockdown measures by the government.

Which are the affected areas?

  • Durham

  • Gateshead

  • Newcastle

  • Northumberland

  • North Tyneside

  • South Tyneside

  • Sunderland

What are the rules?

  • Residents are not allowed to socialise with people outside their household or support bubbles in private homes or gardens.

  • Leisure and entertainment venues – including restaurants, pubs and cinemas – must close between 10pm and 5am. Restaurants, pubs and bars will be restricted to table service only.

  • Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential trips, such as travelling to work or school.

  • They are also advised to avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

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What are the stricter measures?

  • Residents are not to mix with people outside their household or support bubble in indoor settings, including pubs and restaurants, and in private homes or gardens.

  • In response to high and increasing infection rates, restrictions will be enforceable by law and subject to fines from midnight on Wednesday 30 September.

  • For the first time since the pandemic began, it will be illegal for people in the north-east to meet people they do not live with in pubs, bars or restaurants, and face fines of up to £6,400 if they mix with other households indoors in a significant extension of lockdown powers.

How long will they last?

The stricter measures will be monitored closely and reviewed weekly. The next steps will depend on the impact the measures have.

What are the household changes?

You must not meet people who do not live with you or are not part of your support bubble, either indoors or outdoors, unless for the specific purposes mentioned below.

People should only come inside your home for specific purposes:

  • where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble

  • to attend a birth at the mother’s request

  • to visit a person who is dying

  • to fulfil a legal obligation

  • for work purposes, or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services

  • for the purposes of education or training

  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider

  • to provide emergency assistance

  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm

  • to facilitate a house move

  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person

  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents.