Halloween revellers in fancy dress fill streets ahead of lockdown announcement
Revellers flocked to the streets to enjoy a final weekend out before coronavirus restrictions get even tighter.
People in Leeds were out on the town last night before the region is plunged into the strictest Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.
Many were photographed celebrating Halloween, with people dressed up as pirates, brides and leprechauns.
People were also out and about in Newcastle, flocking to bars as the city remained under Tier 2 “high” restrictions.
West Yorkshire will be placed under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions from Monday morning – an estimated 11million people.
The region, which includes Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, will be subject to the country’s toughest Covid-19 restrictions as a result of the change.
The Government has promised further financial support of more than £59.3million for West Yorkshire.
Pubs and bars will now be forced to close in West Yorkshire unless they serve ‘substantial’ meals, along with a range of other restrictions.
Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “We will be moving into Tier 3 on one minute past midnight.
“This is a very difficult decision for us to take and we recognise the significant economic impact that it will have, but the virus is at a stage in which we need to take measures.”
In Newcastle, which remains in Tier 2, people packed out the bars, pubs and clubs as news came out that the PM was planning a second nationwide lockdown to begin next week.
Talks had taken place earlier that day with MPs in Newcastle and the wider North East, as the region faced entering Tier 3.
But the party-hardened Geordies were not about to ignore one last chance to have a good time as pictures show them in Halloween fancy dress, drinking and partying in the street.
Images show police making arrests with a handcuffed man lying in the road, while other officers help women who appear to have fallen over.
Others in fancy dress pose for a selfie next to a police van.
The North East had seen the harshest Tier 3 restrictions looming.
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill Tier 3 talks had been ongoing with a Government minister on Friday.
The Labour MP tweeted: “Local leaders are thrashing out a package for the Tees Valley Region right now.
“MPs will be informed of the outcome later today but we are moving towards Tier 3.”
The Tees Valley region includes Darlington, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar.
Redcar and Cleveland Council leader Mary Lanigan said: “We are having ongoing discussions with the Government about its intention to take the Tees Valley into Tier Three restrictions.
“Nothing has been agreed and we anticipate further discussions on Monday.
‘”We will continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our residents, supporting businesses and saving jobs as we press for the best possible outcome for the Tees Valley.”
Independent elected Mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston said on Thursday night that he feared for the NHS’s ability to cope under the current strain.
He said the capacity for the local NHS to cope with coronavirus patients filling up beds was “disappearing fast” and warned of a crisis to come unless something was done.
An intensive care consultant at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough revealed his colleagues had been taken somewhat by surprise by how quickly the crisis had increased.
Dr Richard Cree wrote in his blog: “We had not expected that things would be getting this bad this quickly.
“Don’t get me wrong, we are all more than able to cope with the current workload but are worried about how bad things might be, come Christmas.
“God only knows what surprises Santa will bring us this year.”
Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the Office for National Statistics’ Covid-19 infection survey, said infections appeared to have “levelled off” in the North East.
Rates remain high and cases continue to rise in the region – but at a slower rate than other areas in England.
Katherine Kent said: “Following the expansion of ONS infection survey, we are now seeing evidence of increases in Covid-19 infections across the UK.
“In England, infections have continued to rise steeply, with increases in all regions apart from in the North East, where infections appear to have now levelled off.
“Wales and Northern Ireland have also all seen increased infections, though it is currently too early to see a certain trend in Scotland, where we have been testing for a shorter period.
“When looking at infections across different age groups, rates now seem to be steeply increasing among secondary school children whilst older teenagers and young adults continue to have the highest levels of infection.”