Leader disappointed but not surprised by Tier 3 decision
GATESHEAD Council leader Martin Gannon says he is “disappointed” by Government’s decision to impose the most stringent coronavirus restrictions on the region.
The news, while not unexpected, was a devastating blow to the region’s hospitality industry – with pubs, bars, and restaurants having to stay shut.
And, unlike some other parts of the country, spectators will not be allowed back into football stadiums or to other large events.
Residents will still be banned from socialising indoors with anyone outside their household or social bubble, though people will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six in outdoor public spaces and non-essential shops will reopen.
Coun Gannon said: “I’m disappointed to be
honest. I read the mood music all week, getting briefed about the decision taking place, I wasn’t surprised.
“The cases in the North East have been dropping significantly in the last week. At one stage we had 800 or 900 cases in Gateshead and at the Queen Elizabeth hospital we had 150 positive in patients and they had to cancel elective work.
“The unofficial figures show that we have 254 cases per 100,000 people and 513 over the last 7 days.
“This shows that we have got the balance right and we can work together as a community and get infection rates under control.”
Coun Gannon called on the general public to keep following coronavirus rules so the region can be put back into Tier 2.
He added: “Lockdown shocked me. We did see a massive rise in mixing [after lockdown was announced] and immediately after the number of cases rose substantially.
“This tells us that this is extremely contagious and any relaxation of social distancing is catastrophic. My message now to people in the North East is to keep doing the right thing to get back into Tier 2.”