Local lockdown restrictions have been announced for seven North East councils today following rising cases in the region.

The restrictions will be in place across Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham councils from midnight with nearly two million people affected.

Residents will not be able to meet others inside or outside their homes and hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants will have a 10 p.m curfew imposed.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced the restrictions today following “concerning rates of infection in the North East”.

The North East has accounted for 15% of England’s new COVID-19 cases in the week to September 14 with South Tyneside recording 93.4 cases per 100,000 people while Sunderland and Gateshead had over 80 cases per 100,000 recorded.

Speaking to the House of Commons earlier today, Matt Hancock said: “I know the people of the North East will come together to defeat this virus as defeat it,  we must.

“Like many other countries around the world, we’re continuing to see a concerning rise in cases with 3,991 new cases recorded yesterday.”

“And this week the number of patients in mechanical ventilator beds has risen above 100 for the first time since July. The battle against coronavirus is not over.”