THE Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced further restrictions for the North-East which will ban two households from meeting up in 'any indoor setting.'

The new measures, which are in place for locked-down parts of the region, will mean people from two households cannot meet, even in public venues.

Previously the law stated two households mixing was illegal if inside or outside private homes or gardens.

However, it was only guidance that two households do not meet at public venues including in restaurants, pubs and bars.

Those in support bubbles continue to remain excluded. 

In the Commons this afternoon, Mr Hancock said: “Today I must announce further measures for the parts of the north-east where we introduced local action a fortnight ago.

“Unfortunately the number of cases continues to rise sharply. The incident rate across the area is now over 100 cases per 100,000.

"We know that a large number of these infections are taking place in indoor settings outside the home.

“And so at the request of the local councils, with whom we have been working closely, we will introduce legal restrictions on indoor mixing between households in any setting.

“We do not take these steps lightly but we must take them and take them now because we know that swift action is more likely to bring the virus under control and the quicker we can get this virus under control, the quicker we can restore the freedoms we all enjoy in the north-east and across the country.”