The Chronicle

Leader dis­ap­pointed but not sur­prised by Tier 3 de­ci­sion

- Elizabeth II · Elizabeth I of England

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.”

 ??  ?? Martin Gan­non
Martin Gan­non

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