Hundreds of drinkers hit the streets of Newcastle on Friday night as the threat of tier three lockdown loomed over the city.
The North-East of England has been given a week to prove tier two restrictions are working after local leaders warned the Government of the ‘devastating impact’ tier three would bring.
Leaders in Northumberland, Newcastle, South and North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham all insisted there was evidence of a flattening of the coronavirus curve on Friday.
Groups in Newcastle were seen dancing and socialising on the streets last night after the city escaped additional measures.
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Under tier two restrictions, people are not allowed to meet people they don’t live with in any indoor setting unless they are part of their support or childcare bubble.
Outdoor gatherings are still permitted as long as no more than six people are together in a socially distanced manner.
New figures show half of England – 28 million people – is now living under harsher restrictions.
Many bars and pubs across Lancashire have been forced to close after the North-West county joined Liverpool in tier three.
Under the ‘very high’ alert level, people are forbidden from socialising with anyone outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting or in any private garden.
Tier three also forces the closure of pubs and bars, unless they serve substantial meals.
Confirming that the North-East would be given one more week to prove tier two restrictions are sufficient, Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said: ‘The data shows a significant slowdown over the past week.
‘Government concede we need a little more time to prove that trend.’
He went on to plead with people to help in the effort to drag case numbers down.
Mr Gannon said: ‘We now need to ask everyone to help us, thank you to those that have won us this reprieve.
‘We are staring down the barrel of a gun, it is a battle to prove we can do it, to save the economy and jobs.’
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