THE North-East has been given a week to show that current lockdown restrictions are beginning to work as it avoids being placed into the strictest measures.

This afternoon, the North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll confirmed that seven local authorities in the region had avoided being placed under Tier 3 restrictions.

It means Northumberland, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham will remain under current restrictions for now.

Mr Driscoll said, in their meeting with Government, they convinced officials the measures already in place were starting to work.

North-East lockdown statement IN FULL as region narrowly avoids Tier 3 rules

“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 new three-tier system came into force on Wednesday after the Government formally unveiled them on Monday.

They have replaced all local lockdown restrictions and have been brought in as a desperate bid to simplify lockdown rules.

Tier 3, which is the strictest of tiers, will see pubs have to closure unless they serve substantial meals and a ban on mixing with other households indoors and outdoors.

Tier 2, which is where the North-East remains, sees pubs and restaurants allowed to remain open but must stick to 10pm curfew and a ban on mixing with other households indoors only - gardens allowed

Tier 1, which is the least stringent and applies to North Yorkshire, means the rule of six applies and you can still meet people indoors and outdoors but you must adhere to social distancing measures.

Pubs and restaurants allowed to remain open but the 10pm curfew still applies.

Mr Driscoll 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.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said it was not just for politicians to keep the region out of Tier 3.

He tweeted: “We’ve all got a huge role to play in beating Covid.

“The next week will be crucial if we want to protect lives and livelihoods across our region.”

It comes as the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen confirmed that Darlington and the Tees Valley would not fall under Tier 3 restrictions this afternoon.

READ MORE: The Tees Valley WILL NOT move into Tier 3 lockdown restrictions

Mr Houchen said Tier 3 was avoided as cases were “flattening”.

He said: “This needs to come down further, but it shows if we can keep this up, we can avoid the catastrophic consequences of moving into the highest level of restrictions.

“This shows the extremely difficulty sacrifices that everyone is making are not in vain.”

He added: “None of us want to spend a day longer than is absolutely necessary under these new restrictions, but what we are doing is working, and it would be such a tragedy to waste all our hard work and all the sacrifices we have made so far.”