It will be illegal to meet indoors in places such as pubs in the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough from Saturday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs the new rules “are necessary”.
In Middlesbrough, the mayor Andy Preston said: “We defy the government and we do not accept these measures.”
But he later said he would obey the law and urged others to do so.
People should also:
- Not attend professional or amateur sports events as spectators
- Only visit care homes in exceptional circumstances
- People should not travel unless it is essential – for example to school and work
Mr Hancock told the House of Commons: “Earlier this week we brought in further measures in the north-east, however in parts of Teesside and the north-west of England cases continue to rise fast.”
Hartlepool and Middlesbrough previously had no additional restrictions apart from national measures.
“I know individual rules are challenging but they are necessary and there are early signs they are working,” Mr Hancock added.
“I put it no stronger than that. Cases are still rising. However, as the chief medical officer set out yesterday this second peak is highly localised and in some parts of the country the virus is spreading fast.”
Mr Hancock said £7m funding would be provided to support areas affected.
A FURTHER 524 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the North East and North Yorkshire.
County Durham: 4,880 was 4,807, an increase of 73; Darlington: 847 was 832, an increase of 15; Gateshead: 2,259 was 2,220 an increase of 39; Hartlepool: 989 was 970, an increase of 19.
Middlesbrough: 1,509 was 1,502, an increase of 7; Newcastle: 3,506 was 3,439, an increase of 67; North Tyneside: 1,690 was 1,679, an increase of 11; North Yorkshire: 3,822 was 3,766, an increase of 56.
In Northumberland: 2,653 was 2,639, an increase of 14; Redcar and Cleveland: 985 was 981, an increase of 4; South Tyneside: 1,918 was 1,887, an increase of 31. Stockton-on-Tees: 1,493 was 1,458, an increase of 35; Sunderland: 3,324 was 3,196, an increase of 128; York: 1,334 was 1,309, increase of 25.
Article courtesy of BBC News, full article available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-54371073 and the Northern Echo full article available at https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18763785.524-people-test-positive-virus/?ref=rss