Boozy Brits hit Toon for final blowout before North East placed on lockdown

Hundreds of boozed-up revellers hit the Toon for their final blowout before a 10pm pub curfew was ordered in the North East on Friday.

Brits flocked to Newcastle's bars for their last night out before the region was put into lockdown.

Under the new rules, more than two million people in the North East are now banned from meeting friends and family from other households – inside or outside.

Restrictions were ramped-up amid fears of a fresh surge of coronavirus cases as 60,000 students return to Newcastle and Durham universities.

They apply across Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland.

Pubs and restaurants will be reduced to table service only, and they will have to shut at 10pm with around 2,350 venues hit, according to real estate adviser Altus Group.

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Sean Southern from The Gateshead Arms told MailOnline: "Things seemed to be getting better and then all of a sudden we're told last night that there's going to be big changes and we haven't really had time to prepare.

"People forget that closing at 10pm also has an impact on staff who might have wanted to pick up a few extra hours."

It comes as Lancashire and Merseyside also face further measures from tomorrow, with up to 10 million Brits now living under tighter restrictions.

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They could also include restrictions on the use of public transport and tougher fines for failing to wear a mask.

With similar measures reportedly being considered for Leeds and London’s population on 9million.

Sky reports that tighter restrictions are also set to be imposed on Lancashire, excluding Blackpool, from Saturday.

The Lancashire lockdown will include Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Lancaster and Morecambe, the broadcaster claims.

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Meanwhile, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has said he expects further restrictions to hit the North West this week.

The Liverpool Echo reports he said: "We know there will be Government meetings to decide what happens next on Friday, but we fully expect to be affected by lockdown measures having gone over the 100 cases per 100,000 government threshold.

"We think this could well be part of a wider North West lockdown, because you can see cases are rising across the whole region."

London has seen a rise of case rates in at least 30 boroughs, according to recent data. The city as a whole has an infection rate of 490.2.

And as the infection rate in around 20 boroughs teeters at the Government's threshold for bringing in restrictions, 500,000 students are set to arrive in the capital for university.

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