As we emerged from the second lockdown, along with the rest of the North East, Newcastle has been placed in the highest of the Government’s new three-tiered system of restrictions. Special allowance has been made across the nations of the UK for the Christmas period between 23 and 27 December, when up to three households can mix
in private homes. I did not vote for the Government’s new tiered system. The previous tier system in October did not work. I recognise the need for a locally-specific but nationally applicable set of measures, but the Government have not set out how they believe these restrictions will be effective and fair. I therefore wrote directly to Matt Hancock MP, the Health Secretary regarding the decision to put Newcastle in Tier 3.
In my letter I have asked the Secretary of State to set out the Government’s pathway to taking this decision. I also asked the Health Secretary to set out what enhanced arrangements for testing and tracing there will be in the North East given that we are now in the ‘Very High’ tier.