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17 September 2020, 10:12
Tougher coronavirus restrictions are expected to be introduced in the north east of England from Friday.
As coronavirus cases continue to rise, millions living in north-east England may face local restrictions in a number of areas.
Part of these tighter rules could see a curfew introduced on pubs and restaurants from midnight tonight.
Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham areas are in discussions to introduce the measures.
A full announcement outlining the next steps is expected later on Thursday.
"The number of cases has been rising rapidly in many parts of the country, but in particular in the North East, and so a decision has been made to impose further restrictions there," Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told ITV's Peston programme on Wednesday.
"And a full announcement will be made tomorrow and so people living in that part of the country should watch out for that. And the measures will come into play at midnight on Thursday evening."
However, the measures won’t see a full lockdown introduced.
Instead, restrictions will be placed on social gatherings and limits such as a curfew may be put in place at pubs.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said the changes would mainly be on social gatherings.
He said: “The evidence we've found from local testing is that it's spreading in three main areas: in pubs, in people's homes and in grassroots sports," he said.
"So [council leaders] have put together a series of requests to government for additional restrictions around these areas for a fixed period of time to try to prevent a damaging full lockdown."
The measures will be outlined in detail today (17 September).