THE whole of the North-East will face the strictest of coronavirus restrictions once the national lockdown ends next week, it has been today confirmed.

All areas across the region have been revealed as being placed under Tier 3 restrictions, according to the government's official list.

But areas in North Yorkshire, including in Hambleton and Richmondshire, will be placed under less stringent rules next week, under Tier 2.

Speaking in the House of Commons this morning, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the measures are necessary given the “scale of the threat” faced.

SEE MORE: Everything you CAN and CANNOT do once the North-East placed into Tier 3 

Mr Hancock made the comments as he confirmed the four-week national lockdown would not be renewed, and the country would see a return to local lockdowns.

He said: “The majority of England will be in Tier 2, but in a significant number of areas I’m afraid (they) need to be in Tier 3 to bring case rates down.

“Now, I know how tough this is, both for areas that have been in restrictions for a long time like Leicester and Greater Manchester, and also for areas where cases have risen sharply like Bristol, the West Midlands and Kent.

“The full allocations have been published this morning and laid as a written ministerial statement just before this statement began.”

He added: “I understand the impact that these measures will have, but they are necessary given the scale of the threat that we face.”

The Northern Echo:

In the North-East, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington, Sunderland, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, County Durham and Northumberland were named under Tier 3 rules.

While in North Yorkshire, York and the county - including Hambleton and Richmondshire - saw confirmation that they would be placed under Tier 2 restrictions.

It comes as The Northern Echo earlier this week reported that it was likely the region would see Tier 3 rules imposed as Covid case rates continued to be among the UKs highest.

SEE MORE: North-East 'likely' to be placed under Tier 3 rules next week, sources say

Reacting to the announcement, Labour MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham slammed the Conservative government for a 'failure' of support to tackle the pandemic in the region.

The Northern Echo:

He said: "Despite a huge drop in the number of cases - in Stockton from just under 500 per 100,000 people to less than 300 – Tory failure to support our communities as we tackle the pandemic meant it was inevitable that our area would end up in Tier Three.

“The people of the area have done extremely well in helping drive down the number of cases.

"Now we need to continue to stick together as a community, keep to the rules and make sure we get the numbers down much more and move back to a more normal way of living.

“While it is vitally important that we all stick to these restrictions, this situation was not inevitable.

"It is Tory incompetence that has failed us at every turn – not just when they ignored their own experts’ call for a two week lockdown in September, but even way back in March when they were weeks too late in taking action to control the spread of the virus."

Responding to Tier 3 restrictions being imposed, the Conservative Mayor of the Tees Valley Ben Houchen said it was "essential" that the area did not spend any more time than necessary under such rules.

The Northern Echo:

He said: “I know the news that the Tees Valley will be put into Tier 3 once the current national lockdown restrictions are lifted on December 2nd will be disappointing to a huge number of people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“Because of the national lockdown measures we have seen a decline in the number of cases in the Tees Valley, but unfortunately the level of infection has not been reduced enough, and it is therefore essential we act in order to save lives and protect our NHS.

“This is not where we want to be, throughout the Coronavirus pandemic I have worked closely with Government to keep the Tees Valley out of the highest levels of restriction for as long as possible, and to get the best deal for local people and local businesses.

“People and businesses have made huge sacrifices so that we can beat this virus, communities across the region have pulled together like never before and it has been heartening to see the level of community spirit, creating light during one of our darkest periods.

“It is essential that we do not spend a day long than necessary with Tier 3 restrictions, the longer we do the more harm will be done to our economy, livelihoods and the mental health of local people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. 

“In order to have Tier 3 restrictions lifted as quickly as possible, it’s critical local people follow the new restrictions as soon as they are in place.

"If the new rules are not followed the virus will continue to spread and we will have to spend even longer under these restrictions – something nobody wants to happen.”

The Northern Echo:

Latest Public Health England data, available on November 26, showed that the entire North-East region had seen a decline in the number of new cases.

SEE MORE: Covid infection rate across the North-East as tier decision expected today 

The figures showed a significant decline in the infection rate in the seven days to November 20, compared with the week previous.

In the North-East, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, North Tyneside and Gateshead were among areas seeing the biggest fall in number of new cases.

But warning of the impact of yet further restrictions and stifling restrictions on the hospitality sector, further warnings for North-East businesses emerged.

Gary Forrest, Chairman of the High Street Group,which runs more than 20 bars, hotels and restaurants in the region, said: “Placing Newcastle and other parts of the North East in Tier 3 in the run up to what is normally our busiest time of the year is devastating for the hospitality sector. 

"It is extremely disappointing as we have put so much time, effort and money into making our venues covid secure to protect our staff and patrons, but have to remain closed while shops will remain open with less control over their customers as they scramble to complete their Christmas shopping.

“The Government needs to look again at a ‘kite mark’-style system for when they lift restrictions to demonstrate that responsible venues are meeting covid safety requirements and enable the public to go back to enjoying the amazing hospitality we and other operators provide in a clearly safe and secure environment.”