NEWCASTLE has been added to Public Health England's watch list as cases of coronavirus in the North East continue to spike.

Newcastle City Council has raised the city’s COVID Control plan to amber following a spike in cases across the region. 

The move comes as the city joined Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside on Public Health England’s Watchlist as an area of enhanced concern.

As a precaution, care homes across the city have been advised to close to non-essential visits, with the exception of residents receiving end-of life care or with dementia. 

The change in status does not mean additional formal restrictions will be in place across Newcastle compared to the rest of the UK.  

The latest test data shows an increase of 145 cases in the last 7 days, which equates to 48 cases per 100,000 people. More than 90% of those who have tested positive in the last two weeks are aged less than 60, and almost 60% were from the 18 – 30 age group.