TYNEDALE has been hit by restrictions after people were urged not to visit public places, stop non-essential travel and contact with others, and work from home if they could, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

There was a furious response from pubs, restaurants, theatres, and other hospitality sectors, which bemoaned the Government for in effect shutting down their facilities.

Businesses said they had been left in limbo with no recourse to insurance because Prime Minister Boris Johnson had advised people to stay away from venues, but did not order them to close, which could lead to widescale job losses and closures.

In restrictions unprecedented in peacetime, supermarkets were restricting what customers could buy to prevent stockpiling after stores experienced an increase in panic buying during a coronavirus crisis that could last more than a year.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said a Government-backed support package of loans worth £350bn would be made available.

Mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday for those in financial difficulty and the Government is extending the business rates holiday to all businesses in the hospitality sector and funding grants of up to £25,000 for smaller businesses. The county council said businesses eligible for the increased retail discount will receive a new bill as soon as possible.

Schools in Tynedale will be ordered to close by Friday until further notice.

l Special reports pages 3-5