DRASTIC new restrictions aimed at halting the spread of Covid-19 in the North-East are due to come into force in parts of the region on Friday.

The measures are set to be announced tomorrow. The Secretary of State for Housing and Commuities, Robert Jenrick, confirmed the measures will be imposed for parts of the North-East at midnight on Thursday. 

It is understood the restrictions are likely to include a ban on socialising with anyone from a different household and a 10pm curfew on pubs.

Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland are all expected to be included.

The seven councils have been in discussions with the Government to ask for additional measures after a dramatic rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the North-East in the last two weeks.

It is understood that the exact nature of the restrictions are still being finalised, but a source said the outcome of the discussions had been positive in terms of what was requested by the North-East authorities.

Other measures are likely to include a ban on socialising between people from different residential households.

South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, and Newcastle are already on the government watchlist, and classed as areas needing "enhanced support" because of their rising infection rates.

Speaking earlier this week, Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said: “There is universal concern from council leaders across our region about the exponential rise in Covid cases over the last week.

“Unless we get on with this now, we are facing a bigger problem down the line which could end up in a full lockdown.

“It is better to try to introduce measures which will prevent that, even though that may mean some additional restrictions over the next few weeks.

“We are working with the government on a plan for what those could mean and how we can get those measures in place over the next few weeks to protect our communities and having to go into another prolonged, damaging lockdown.”