UK: Despite dismissing national lockdown, North-East restrictions announced

Despite dismissing national lockdown this morning, Matt Hancock has announced new restrictions to the North-East. Are the UK government setting the country up for national lockdown announcement?

AFTER ministers denied that there would be a national lockdown in statements this morning, Matt Hancock has announced new restrictions to the North-East which strongly resemble a progression towards a national lockdown.

It what had been rumoured, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced that the North-East is to be hit with further restrictions as the UK government battle to control coronavirus contagion.

This announcement means that around 9.7 million people in the UK are under Covid-19 restrictions.

In his announcement, Hancock told MPs that there has been a “concerning rise” in Covid-19 cases.

“The battle against coronavirus is not over,” he adds.

The “vital line of defence” has been local restrictions, according to the health secretary.

He highlighted that the new restrictions would be introduced in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham and that the new restrictions include “no mixing between households and a 10pm curfew for hospitality and entertainment venues.”

Despite having the data available for some time as cases rise across the country, Mr Hancock exclaims “The data says we must act now.”

A further £2.7 billion will be introduced to the NHS to help during the busy winter months.

In another decision announced, the government will start trialling the use of the non-emergency 111 number to first “book an appointment with whoever can give them the most appropriate care.”

This will begin in the restricted areas.

“If they need to go to the emergency department, then NHS 111 will be able to book them in to an appropriate time slot.”

We will continue to update you about the fallout from this public address from Matt Hancock and the implications it has on UK residents.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at