AN MP has said there is "still more to do" following the news that the North-East will be placed in Tier 3 from next week.

The Government announced today that all 12 local authorities in the North-East will be subject to the highest Tier 3 restrictions when the second English lockdown ends.

The new restrictions begin on Wednesday.

Darlington MP Peter Gibson said: "Darlington has been allocated to Tier 3, which I know will be difficult news for those businesses which are still required to remain closed, with an infection rate of over 300 per 100,000 we still have more to do, and we have seen the rate falling.

"My team and I continue to stand ready to assist those with queries questions and who require assistance.

"With positive news on testing and vaccines there is light at the end of this difficult road."

Darlington Borough Council says its data shows that in a large proportion of cases, the virus is passed from one family member to another in the same household.

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, warned people to think twice about mixing indoors.

She said: “We have received confirmation that Darlington, along with the wider Tees Valley/North-East, will be placed into the tier three ‘very high’ local restrictions at the end of the national lockdown period.

“Although we are disappointed that Darlington must face the toughest restrictions, in particular the inevitable impact it will have on our hospitality businesses, we recognise that it is vitally important that we do what is necessary to drive down infection rates in the town.

“Our residents and businesses owners have shown great resilience and fortitude this year and I would urge everyone to stay focused and continue to do the right thing, particularly as we approach Christmas and we hope to celebrate as best we can with our closest family members.

“The data shows that in a large proportion of cases recorded in Darlington, the virus has been passed from one family member to another in the same household and then often on to another extended family household due to visits.

"Please – protect the people you love and think twice before mixing indoors.

“There is no denying that these are difficult times - as a council we will continue to do all that we can to support our business owners and to work with the Government to ensure that we receive as much support as possible to see us through.”

What does Tier 3 mean?

Groups of six will only be able to meet in outdoor public spaces, such as parks and sports courts – but not in private gardens.

Hospitality will be closed except for takeaway in these areas.

Indoor entertainment venues – such as cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos – will remain closed.

People will be told to avoid travelling out of the area other than where necessary and to reduce the number of journeys.

No overnight stays will be permitted outside the local area, except for work or education, with accommodation to stay closed.

Weddings and civil partnerships can resume but with only 15 guests, increasing to 30 for funerals. Wedding receptions are banned in Tier 3.

Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but people are advised to avoid higher-risk contact activity.

Elite and live sport will still be banned but drive-in events will be permitted.