THERE has been much confusion on what the new restrictions mean for people in parts of the North-East which entered a local lockdown on in the early hours of Friday.

On Thursday, the Government announced local lockdown restrictions in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham.

READ MORE: Lockdown restrictions announced for the North-East as strict new rules revealed

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock took just minutes to announce restrictions, which one North-East council said would be "monitored" weekly.

Now affected councils and the Government have published the exact guidance on what is 'banned' and what is 'advised' under new restrictions.

Newcastle City Council and Durham County Council have also published what residents CAN and CANNOT do under new rules.

The Government guidance outlines what is banned under regulations.

This is the following:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.
  • Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10pm to 5am.

The Government guidance goes on to say that the following is advice that the public should adhere to in order to "reduce" the spread of infection.

  • Not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues, including pubs, restaurants and cafes. 
  • Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work.
  • Take holidays only within your own household or support bubble.
  • Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

In addition to the seven core bits of Government guidance, affected councils have come together to provide a full list of rules that must be followed in order to keep Covid-19 rates under control.

Meeting people in other households

The joint-council guidance says that people from other households can come into your home for the following reasons:

  • where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
  • to attend a birth at the mother's request
  • to visit a person who is dying (the visitor can be someone the dying person lives with, a close family member, friend or, if none of those is visiting, anyone else)
  • to fulfil a legal obligation
  • for work purposes (see guidance on working safely in other people's homes), or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • for the purposes of education or training
  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • to facilitate a house move
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents.

Yes, you can still use childcare

The guidance states that you can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children.

You can also continue to employ childminders, including those living outside of the region - while children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

Can I travel outside the lockdown area for work or school?

Those living inside and outside of the areas affected by the local lockdown rules can continue to travel for work or school, even if this means leaving the, or entering areas affected.

Can I go to someone’s house in an area not subject to the restrictions?

No, you are not permitted to visit homes inside or outside the restricted area, unless this household is in a support bubble.

Why can I go to the pub but not my relative's house?

The guidance states that you are advised to only visit these venues with other members of your household, or support bubble.

It says that you can visit hospitality venues because they have enhanced measures, such as risk assessments and NHS Test and Trace, which private homes don’t have.

Can I visit my relative in a care home?

Care homes in the region are currently closed to non-essential visitors, excluding health care professionals and those involved in end of life care, including family members). 

If you are planning to visit relatives in care homes outside the affected areas, you are advised to check with the care home prior to travelling to ensure that they are still open to visits from family members.

Can I still go on holiday?

Those in affected areas can still go on holiday within the UK or abroad, but you should only do this with people you live with, or again have formed a support bubble with. 

What happens if you flout the new rules

Technically, those who flout the rules which are banned can be fined up to a maximum of £3,200.

You can be fined £100 for one offence, £200 for a second offence, and then it doubles each time until you reach the £3,200 threshold.