Newcastle sinks its final pint before curfew comes in across North East from ...

Hundreds of revellers hit the town for a final evening of boozy celebrations last night ahead of strict coronavirus curfews which will come into force across the North East from tonight. 

Tough new measures to control the spread of coronavirus were announced for the North East of England yesterday, bringing the total number of Britons under lockdown to around ten million. 

The rules, which include a 10pm curfew on pubs and bars, will affect Newcastle, Gateshead, , Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and County Durham. 

Residents in these areas are banned from socialising in homes or gardens with people outside their household or 'bubble' and food and drink venues are restricted to table service only. Restaurants, bars and pubs will have to close between 10pm and 5am.

Those in Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Lancaster and Morecambe are excepted to be placed under similar measures from Saturday, although it is understood Blackpool will be exempt from the rules.

Drinkers last night flocked to watering holes across the North East for a final of carnage after Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the region would be hit by a 10pm curfew on pubs and bars starting tonight.

Those in Newcastle, where 40,000 university students are expected to return in the coming days, were photographed in close proximity outside busy clubs and bars despite the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases in the area.

Similar scenes were spotted in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where rising numbers of infections have prompted warnings the city may soon head in the same direction as the northeast with additional restrictions.  

Leeds recorded its highest ever daily increase of Covid-19 cases yesterday, with the city confirming a further 117 infections. The largest rise ahead of this figure was reported on April 22, when 109 cases were detected.

The streets were also busy in Birmingham last night as university students moved back to the city - despite households in the area having been banned from mixing following a spike in coronavirus cases last week.

Hundreds of revellers hit Newcastle for a final evening of boozy celebrations last night ahead of strict coronavirus curfews which will come into force across the North East from tonight

Hundreds of revellers hit Newcastle for a final evening of boozy celebrations last night ahead of strict coronavirus curfews which will come into force across the North East from tonight

Revellers out in Newcastle city centre tonight enjoying the last evening before the government brings in Covid-19 lockdown measures to the North East of England

Revellers out in Newcastle city centre tonight enjoying the last evening before the government brings in Covid-19 lockdown measures to the North East of England

Tough new measures to control the spread of coronavirus were announced for the North East of England yesterday, bringing the total number of Britons under lockdown to around ten million. Pictured: Newcastle

Tough new measures to control the spread of coronavirus were announced for the North East of England yesterday, bringing the total number of Britons under lockdown to around ten million. Pictured: Newcastle

The rules, which include a 10pm curfew on pubs and bars, will affect Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and County Durham. Pictured: Newcastle last night

The rules, which include a 10pm curfew on pubs and bars, will affect Newcastle, Gateshead, , Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and County Durham. Pictured: Newcastle last night

Those in the city and neighbouring areas Sandwell and Solihull are not permitted to meet others outside their household or social bubble under the rules, either indoors or in private gardens. 

Birmingham had seen its infection rate more than double to 90.3 cases per 100,000 ahead of the measures, which affect more than 1.6 million people in total.

It comes as Mr Hancock today admitted that a new national crackdown is on the cards as he warned infections are 'accelerating across the country' and more people will die due to the pandemic.

The Health Secretary pleaded with the public to 'come together to tackle this virus' as ministers consider imposing draconian restrictions for a fortnight in a 'circuit break' to stop the spread.

The move could come as soon as next week, with pubs, restaurants and hotels across Britain facing being shut to prevent 'significant' casualties.

Speaking today, Mr Hancock said a national lockdown was the 'last line of defence'. But he warned that it was a 'big moment for the country' with cases now doubling every eight days, and unless the 'Rule of Six' restrictions worked more would have to be done.

'The virus is clearly accelerating across the country,' he told Sky News. 'We have got to take the necessary action to keep people safe. We will do what it takes to keep people safe.'   

Around ten million people across the UK are now in areas of intervention, including parts of Greater Manchester, Leicester and Scotland. But neither Middlesbrough and Hartlepool in the North East, two other authorities officially named as a hotspot by Public Health England, were hit by new measures announced yesterday. 

Increasing numbers of infections in London and Leeds have also prompted warnings the cities may soon head in the same direction as the North East with additional restrictions. And in North Yorkshire 'full emergency mode' has been declared after cases surged by 167 per cent in the first week of September.  

Residents in these areas are banned from socialising in homes or gardens with people outside their household or 'bubble' and food and drink venues are restricted to table service only. Pictured: Newcastle

Residents in these areas are banned from socialising in homes or gardens with people outside their household or 'bubble' and food and drink venues are restricted to table service only. Pictured: Newcastle

Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle have their temperatures checked before entering a club on the night before tough new measures come into place

Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle have their temperatures checked before entering a club on the night before tough new measures come into place

Drinkers last night flocked to watering holes across the North East for a final of carnage after Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the region would be hit by a 10pm curfew on pubs and bars starting tonight

Drinkers last night flocked to watering holes across the North East for a final of carnage after Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the region would be hit by a 10pm curfew on pubs and bars starting tonight

Those in Newcastle, where 40,000 university students are expected to return in the coming days, were photographed in close proximity outside busy clubs and bars despite the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases in the area

Those in Newcastle, where 40,000 university students are expected to return in the coming days, were photographed in close proximity outside busy clubs and bars despite the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases in the area

It comes as Mr Hancock today admitted that a new national crackdown is on the cards as he warned infections are 'accelerating across the country' and more people will die due to the pandemic. Pictured: Newcastle

It comes as Mr Hancock today admitted that a new national crackdown is on the cards as he warned infections are 'accelerating across the country' and more people will die due to the pandemic. Pictured: Newcastle

Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle wait in a line outside a bar in the city centre ahead of the new restrictions which come into force tonight

Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle wait in a line outside a bar in the city centre ahead of the new restrictions which come into force tonight

It is also feared the thousands of students returning to universities in the North East could cause the soaring infection rate to rise even further despite the draconian measures. Around 40,000 students are expected to flock back to Newcastle University in the coming days, as well as nearly 20,000 to Durham University.

Pubs, bars and restaurants in areas where the new restrictions will apply — Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, and County Durham — are now only allowed to offer table service.

Sean Southern from The Gateshead Arms yesterday told MailOnline of the impact the new restrictions are likely to have on business.

He said: 'We used to be open until 12.30am, then because of Covid we reduced that to 11pm and now we're being told we

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