People living in several areas in the North East will be fined if they mix indoors with individuals from different households, the Government has announced.
The guidance in parts of the North East advises residents not to mix with people outside their household or bubble in indoor settings, including in pubs and restaurants.
In response to high and increasing infection rates, this guidance will now be enforceable by law and subject to fines from 30 September.
The rules will apply to seven areas: Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland, and Sunderland.
These areas saw incidence rates of over 100 per 100,000 in six of the seven areas last week.
A funding package is being agreed with councils to support the measures and tackle the rising infection rate, with further details to be confirmed.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes has hit out at the Government for announcing the latest COVID restrictions in the North East without telling the councils involved.