TALKS over plunging parts of the North East of England into a Tier 3 lockdown have been put on pause today as their infection rates appeared to be slowing down.
Earlier today the PM hailed parts of the country under tighter restrictions and said there was some evidence it was beginning to have an effect on the numbers.
Matt Hancock had warned earlier this week that other areas of the country are in talks with the Government about going into the top tier.
Tees Valley and Tyneside are understood to have had their talks put on hold, it was confirmed earlier.
It comes after one leader said Boris Johnson could “sod off” if he was going to impose restrictions on his area.
Hartlepool leader Shane Moore tweeted on Monday evening: “Apparently it was announced in the House of Commons earlier that there were talks happening in relation to #Hartlepool & wider #TeesValley going into Tier 3.
“This is untrue.
“No talks with us since update on Friday & if anyone suggests it to me this week they’ll be told to sod off.”
Tory MP Dehenna Davidson tweeted earlier: ” Grateful to @BorisJohnson
for taking the time to chat to me and @RicHolden today about the COVID landscape across County Durham and the North East.
“We know local restrictions are tough, but if we keep playing our part, we can get the case rate down and stay out of Tier 3.”
There were 335 new cases per 100,000 people in Newcastle in the last week of data up to October 16, which is down from 532 the week before.
The rate has also fallen in Gateshead (279 cases to 227 cases per 100,000), South Tyneside (264 to 235) and North Tyneside (283 to 201).
A senior government source said today: “There are signs progress is being made”.
But case rates have risen in Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool.
Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner told NottinghamshireLive today that “the expectation” is that parts of the county will go into Tier 3 by Monday.
But there was chaos as leaders in the area said they weren’t having further talks with the Government over moving them up a tier.
The PA news agency reported that internal meetings within the county council have taken place but there have been no higher level meetings with Government ministers.
The area has one of the highest rates in the country and is still under Tier 2 rules.
Today South Yorkshire sealed a deal to go into Tier three from Saturday – with bars and places which can’t serve food shut.
Gyms can stay open but can’t have group exercise classes, and wedding receptions are cancelled.
Greater Manchester will go into Tier 3 from Friday, Boris Johnson announced yesterday, despite no deal being sealed with Mayor Andy Burnham. But the area will get the £60million negotiated.