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EXPLAINED: We clear up the COVID confusion that hit North Tyneside this week


Here we explore the current coronavirus situation in North Tyneside following the government’s U-Turn earlier this week.

Walk in and mobile vaccination centres are available for residents in North Tyneside as part of increased efforts to control the rising number of coronavirus cases across the borough. These extra measures are for those who haven't had any of their doses for the vaccine. If you are still awaiting your second jab, you should stick to the appointment that's been given to you.

You do not need an appointment to attend mobile and walk-in services, however if you have your NHS number that would be helpful.
North Tyneside became a particular area of concern following the detection of the Indian variant of coronavirus in the area. Earlier in the week, this prompted the government to advise against non-essential travel in and out of the borough, which caused quite a bit of confusion for businesses and residents.
There has since been an update advising that there are no legal restrictions when it comes to travelling in and around the area and that there is nothing like a local lockdown in place, but the government has requested that people minimise travel where possible. Further guidance for Indian variant hotspots include meeting outside rather than inside where possible and keeping two metres apart from anybody who you do not live with unless you have formed a support bubble.
North Tyneside mayor Norma Redfearn said despite a "day of confusion" that North Tyneside remains at the same stage of the roadmap as the rest of the country,

Expressing her frustration at the events of this week, she added that "We have seen throughout the pandemic that clear communications are vital and this confusion has caused stress and anxiety for many people in North Tyneside and the region. There was no consultation on this advice, which was wrong."

Targeted door-to-door testing has also begun across the borough. North Tyneside Council is working with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to deliver tests to some households in a number of targeted areas, starting with parts of NorthShields, Wallsend and Whitley Bay.

Over in South Tyneside and health bosses have said they are ready to take on any increase in case numbers. As it stands south of the Tyne, the number of infections remains consistently low with no evidence to suggest that what's happening North of the river is having any impact on neighbouring boroughs.

Karen Goldfinch, chair of the North Tyneside Business Forum spoke to public health director Wendy Burke after the supposed change in guidance left local businesses with a lot of questions.

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