DARLINGTON and Tees Valley will be ranked Tier 2 in the new local Covid alert levels system announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon.

The second tier, known as 'High' alert level, will be applied to the whole of the Tees Valley, with local authorities following Hartlepool and Middlesbrough in tighter Covid restrictions. 

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill confirmed this via social media after Boris Johnson's address to Commons which began at 3.30pm this afternoon, October 12. 

New restrictions will come into force on Wednesday, October 14.

But what does Tier 2 mean for parts of the North-East?

Tier 2 means the Tees Valley is subject to all the existing national restrictions including social distancing, abiding by the 'rule of six' and the 10pm curfew on hospitality will also remain in place.

This also includes a ban indoor mixing of two households, but mixing in gardens falls under the rule of six.

This means the only change for Hartlepool is that you can now visit family and friends in private gardens as well as public outdoor spaces, while for Darlington, which previously had no additional restrictions, it means no mixing indoors. 

By being in Tier 2, pubs, bars and restaurants are allowed to remain open.

The new rules mean that:

  • People living in single-person households will still be able to meet up with people in their support bubble, also known as a linked household.
  • You can meet in any outdoor space, including private gardens, following the Rule of Six
  • You must not socialise with anyone who is not in your household anywhere indoors – including in pubs, bars and restaurants. This applies both in Darlington and elsewhere
  • Social distancing and a 10pm curfew will be maintained.
  • Fines can be issued to anyone not sticking to the new rules.

Darlington MP Peter Gibson said: "Whilst the virus continues to accelerate, we must do all we can to minimise its spread. While these restrictions are not welcome, I appreciate they are necessary to protect the health of people."