Merseyside 'set to face similar lockdown restrictions as North East'

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Merseyside is expected to face similar lockdown restrictions as those which were announced for the North East, it has been reported.

Councillors have been told to expect an announcement from the Government tomorrow regarding local lockdown measures, according to The Liverpool Echo.

It comes after boroughs in Merseyside have seen a surge of coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens are said to have infection rates of over 100 cases per 100,000 people.

No official announcement has been made and the Department of Health and Social Care would not confirm the reports when approached by the Standard.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed on Thursday that Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham will face tougher rules from Friday.

Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only in the North East while late night restrictions on operating hours will be introduced so leisure and entertainment venues must close between 10pm and 5am.

Hancock announces new restrictions for the North East

“We’ve seen concerning rates of infection in parts of the North East,” Mr Hancock told the Commons.

“Sunderland, for example, now has an incidence rate of 103 positive cases per 100,000 population.

“And in South Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle, figures are all above 70.”

It comes as dozens of drivers turned up at a coronavirus testing site in Sunderland to find there were no staff to swab them.

People who had booked a test at Doxford Park, an out-of-town business park, were told by the media they would not be tested, as there were no officials there to inform them.

Some had been turned away on the approach to the centre by security guards, who told them the computers had crashed and to try again later.