COUNCIL leaders from Sunderland, Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Durham have released a statement thanking residents for their efforts in slowing down the rate of Covid infections.
The government placed the North East in tier two last week, but there had been serious concerns that the area would be put in tier three imminently.
Over the last week, the rate of infection has slowed down, which means that the North East has potentially avoided falling into the harshest restriction bracket.
In a joint statement, the councillors said: “Once again, the collective efforts of the North East have seen indications that the rate of Covid infections is slowing down.
“We would like to thank everyone for their continued co-operation and ask – please keep doing your bit.
“We know it is difficult not to be able to physically see and hold loved ones, to enjoy a night out with friends at the theatre or down the pub but by not mixing households and following the rules you are making a difference.”
The statement added that the councils are working closely with Public Health directors and the government and the consensus is that the restrictions have worked.
While there has been progress, the statement added that they need people to keep doing their bit, it said: “It has only been possible to slow the virus because the overwhelming majority continue to do their bit.
Reducing social contact remains key to stopping the spread of Covid so we urge everyone to continue to wash their hands regularly for 20 seconds; wear face coverings on public transport, in shops and everywhere they are legally required; stay 2 metres apart from anyone not within your household or bubble – Hands. Face. Space.
“Doing so gives us the best chance of avoiding stricter restrictions. This will form just part of our engagement with government. We will also continue to lobby strongly for a realistic package of economic support to be available for those businesses trading in Alert Level 2 as well as for those forced to close in areas under Alert Level 3.”