Aimed at stopping a resurgence of coronavirus, his department said laws would ban inter-household mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.
But some questioned whether this would include meeting people from other homes outside in hospitality settings: essentially meaning beer gardens and outdoor licensed areas.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (Tuesday), education minister Ms Keegan said: “I’m sorry I can’t clarify that.
“I don’t know the answer to that question but I’m sure they can find out the answer to that question.”
Pressed on how people are meant to keep up to date with the latest restrictions when ministers cannot, she said: “I’m sorry I can’t answer that question. I’m sure there are many people who could. I don’t represent the North East.”
Labour quickly seized on the failure to clarify the confusion over the laws, set to be imposed after midnight on Wednesday.
Shadow health minister Alex Norris said: “It speaks volumes that even the Government’s own ministers don’t know what’s going on.
“This will do little to inspire public confidence in the North East and across the country.
“The Conservatives’ incompetence is hampering our response to this pandemic.”
Watch this space for local reaction to this story later today.