People in the North East of England must step up to protect the region’s jobs, businesses and health and stop it from being put in Tier 3 of coronavirus restrictions, the North of Tyne Mayor has said.

The seven local authorities of Northumberland, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham successfully lobbied Government advisers and avoiding being placed under the tightest restrictions.

It was understood they were given a reprieve of a week, but must demonstrate the figures were continuing to improve.

North of Tyne elected mayor Jamie Driscoll said, in their meeting with Government, they convinced officials the measures already in place were starting to work.

“It’s not that the problem is solved, because it’s certainly not, but it is clear that we are seeing things having an effect.

“That means that while most members of the public are doing a cracking job, we need everyone to be doing it.

“Wear masks, set a good example, wash your hands, keep socially distanced, so we can stop this spreading, particularly among over 60s, and make sure we don’t get put in Tier 3.

“We need the public to step up and protect people’s jobs, businesses and health.”

The mayor said he will be asking Government for the power to shut businesses which do not follow the rules.

While many firms were protecting staff and the public with one-way systems, proper social distancing and ventilation, others were not, he said.

“We are asking for the power to summarily close those who are not following good Covid guidance,” Mr Driscoll said.

The call comes after the North of Tyne Mayor, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria and the seven council leaders across Northumberland, County Durham, Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside released a statement earlier today.

It said: "We can confirm we have had further constructive discussions with government today and the North East is staying at High Alert Level 2.

"Due to the combined efforts of our residents, businesses and communities since we introduced restrictions across the region on September 18, the public health data is showing signs of the number of Covid-19 cases stabilising.

"We would like to thank every person in the region for the role they are playing in tackling this virus but, if we are to avoid further restrictions, then it is vital every single one of us follows the law and guidance. There is absolutely no room for complacency.

"We are at a critical point and cannot afford to let the virus rip through our communities – we need everyone to do their bit.

"We continue to engage with government about the need for crucial economic support as well as localised control of Test and Trace, but we welcome the fact we are being listened to and we are committed to ongoing, constructive dialogue."