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Mayor: Government Ignored Us on Covid

By Published October 02, 2020

MIDDLESBROUGH Mayor Andy Preston has expressed his anger and frustration at new Covid-19 restrictions enforced on the town.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced this morning that Middlesbrough and Hartlepool would become subject to the same laws as other parts of the North East.

The laws ban mixing between different households in homes and all public venues including pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Exemptions will be in place for support bubbles, childcare and other specific circumstances.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "I feared the government would impose these laws on us and deeply worry they will damage mental health and jobs.

"We were pro-active and put forward our own suggestion based on data and our public health professionals' understanding of what is actually happening here.

"The government has ignored us. I strongly disagree with their decision and will go on making the case that this isn't right at this moment in time for Middlesbrough.

"In the meantime we will start working on local measures to try and protect people's wellbeing and jobs."

The Council's own proposal around a restriction on socialising inside homes was based on NHS Test and Trace data that showed around 80% of those who tested positive in September were exposed to the virus by a household member or visitor.

The Council wasn't aware in advance that Mr Hancock was going to make the announcement and Mayor Preston said the authority hadn't been properly consulted.

More detail on the new regulations and how they affect residents and businesses will be published as soon as the information is available.


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