Fear of weekend ‘last party’ weekend behind decision to impose northeast lockdown within hours

Fear of weekend 'last party' weekend behind decision to impose northeast lockdown within hours

The new lockdown-style measures in the Northeast should be implemented quickly to avoid a “last party atmosphere” this weekend.

Restrictions on meeting people from different families and imposing curfews on pubs are prohibited on Friday.

Just hours before the rule went into effect – with the details slowly being confirmed on Thursday, many people became frustrated and confused with the way the announcement was made.

Professor Eugene Milney, director of public health at Newcastle City Council, said the rapid increase in the number of infections in different parts of the region probably meant “inevitable” because swift action was taken.

He said: “In an ideal world we have already revealed these and there was real clarity about what would happen so that we could resume all our communication immediately.

“We are inevitably in the hands of the central government and since we were arguing for different elements and not getting everything we wanted, although given by both sides, the momentum that had to happen has been complicated.

“This is probably an inevitable consequence of the rapid growth of covids in and around the city that we had to take very quickly.

“I know it’s very difficult for people, but I would ask them to carry with us because we are trying our best to achieve as much continuity as possible to get out of a very complicated situation.”

The new restrictions announced Friday for parts of the Midlands, Northwest and Yorkshire are not taking effect until Tuesday – giving people more time to understand and plan for changes.

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But the fear of a wild weekend is that councilors in the Northeast wanted to introduce sanctions here as soon as possible.

Here the spread of the virus has been partly linked to the larger social mix in or around pubs, bars and other premises.

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Professor Milney added: “The alternative is that the guidance came on Monday, did not give us more time to do the commissions and that is probably why the decision was made on Friday morning.

“Then there’s the real danger that you’ve come up with a‘ last party ’atmosphere over the weekend that will have to exacerbate the spread of the virus and make our long-term system more sustainable which can be really problematic in making us more long-lasting.

“The verdict is, if we have to do it, it’s best to do it as soon as possible.”

Nearly two million people in Newcastle, Northbarland, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham have been banned from socializing or supporting private home bubbles with people outside their own homes and parks under new regulations that came into effect Friday.

Hospitality venues are limited to table services and have a 10-hour curfew.

Residents are also advised not to socialize with people outside their own homes at all public venues, to use public transport only for necessary transportation, to take vacations within their own families or to support bubbles and to avoid sporting events as spectators.

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