Middlesbrough is to be placed on a local lockdown following a surge in cases, Matt Hancock has confirmed this morning. Speaking in a press conference, the Health Secretary confirmed tightened restrictions across Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Hartlepool and Warrington and also confirmed that the current 10pm curfew will be remaining in place – despite protests from the hospitality industry.
Following the news that Middlesbrough Council were to ask to government to impose such restrictions on the area, residents will now be banned by law from mixing with other households in any setting – similar to the current restrictions that Leeds residents must follow. Latest figures in the area reveal that Middlesbrough is currently dealing with 122 infections per 100,000 people – a figure which would place it on the government’s ‘Red Alert’ system.
The Mayor of Middlesbrough, Andy Preston said of the decision: “We need to protect the vulnerable, but we can’t kill jobs, kill society, there’s got to be a middle ground.
“There’s a balance to be struck here because the long winter months ahead will be lonely for many people.
“This isn’t about people barricading themselves in their homes for months on end… I don’t want people to be banned from meeting a cousin or friend for a coffee or a bite to eat.
“Businesses can be Covid secure and as a council we’ll continue to breathe down the necks of unsafe venues and promote the places doing their bit.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in this morning’s conference: “We have to take action to suppress the virus,
“Letting it rip is not an alternative I’d ever want to take.”