Revellers hit the town in Newcastle before 10pm curfew while crowds in Leeds drink up with city on brink of lockdown
19th September 2020

HUNDREDS of revellers hit the town in Newcastle and Leeds for one last night on the tiles before the 10pm curfew.

Partygoers were seen making the most of their short night out despite the rising numbers of covid cases in the north.

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Students in Newcastle, unbothered by the new early curfew, flocked to local watering holes to sink pints.

Young women got glammed up and were pictured laughing and cheering their final pints before being kicked out by bar staff at curfew.

Police officers were spotted surveying the empty streets as partygoers heading home after bars closed at 10pm – early for a usual Friday night.

In Leeds, groups of friends gathered on the main streets to queue up for packed bars and pubs.

The latest measures has seen a 10pm curfew placed on pubs and bars in Newcastle, County Durham, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland, Sunderland and Gateshead.

This comes as Johnson agonises over a new nationwide “social” lockdown after admit­­ting a second Covid wave is on the way.

Pubs and restaurants could shut from next week, going further than current curfews.

The PM could impose a two-week social lockdown within days to act as a “circuit breaker” on the virus.

The PM hopes the short, sharp shock advised by top scientists will jolt Covid then let people resume their lives.

Schools and offices will stay open, but pubs, restaurants and leisure facilities could be closed for at least a fortnight — going further than current curfews in some areas.

It comes as…

  • Lancashire, Merseyside, Wolverhampton and West Yorkshire have been given new local lockdown measures – to be in force from Tuesday.
  • The UK R-rate hit 1.4 and scores of coronavirus hotspots across the country have emerged in recent weeks.
  • Coronavirus cases rose by 3,395 with 21 deaths recorded yesterday
  • A new 90-minute coronavirus test is 94 per cent accurate, experts have revealed
  • Yesterday the head of NHS Test & Trace admitted that calls about coronavirus tests were up to FOUR times higher than the current testing capacity
  • Thousands of kids with colds are being sent home from school over fears they have the deadly bug
  • London’s new year fireworks have been cancelled

Boris said yesterday a second wave was “inevitable” yet insisted he will not impose the same strict lockdown as March.

But he warned new restrictions are needed because the “rule of six” hasn’t done enough to quell the virus — with cases now doubling every week, and the R rate rising to between 1.1 and 1.4.

Birmingham Nightingale Hospital has also been told to be ready to start receiving patients within the next 24 hours.

The PM is spending the weekend agonising over his next move. Speaking in Oxfordshire yesterday, he said: “I don’t want to go into bigger lockdown measures at all.

“We want to keep schools open and it is fantastic the schools have gone back in the way they have. We want to keep the economy open as far as we can. We want to keep businesses going.

“What I don’t want to do is get into a second national lockdown. It’s the last thing anyone wants.

“I’ve said for several weeks we could expect a second wave.

“We are seeing it across Europe. It has been absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable we were going to see it in this country.”

Figures showed infections have almost doubled in a week with 6,000 people a day picking up the bug in England.

It compares with just 3,200 a week earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics. The change in the R rate, estimated by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), means the virus is rising exponentially again.

Another 2.3million people will be living under local lockdowns from Tuesday after curbs were announced for parts of Merseyside, Lancashire, West Yorkshire and the Midlands.

That means a total of 12.3million — or one in five of the population — will be living under some form of lockdown even before new nationwide restrictions are announced.

Pubs and restaurants will have a 10pm curfew in parts of Lancashire and Merseyside.

New restrictions will apply in Wolverhampton, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, and all parts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale. They include a ban on socialising with other households.

The PM met with top advisers on Wednesday night, who told him that a short period of lockdown restrictions would soften the blow of the second wave on the NHS.

They warned him that failing to act quickly enough will leave hospitals deluged, forcing routine operations to be cancelled again.

Some urged him to coincide the fortnight lockdown with October half term, extending the break by a week.


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