Jonathan Walker, policy director, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: "This announcement comes in anticipation of further severe restrictions on business in our region yet we still have no confirmation of what those will be. Businesses want to play their part and to get them on board Government must support its decisions with clear evidence as to whether closures are the most effective solution to this crisis. Otherwise there will be a perception that they are simply shooting in the dark.
"Specific support in the event of closures is both needed and welcome. But these measures won't protect every job or preserve every business that is under threat. Government must continue to work with companies in these hard-hit industries as well as providing a much better test and trace system, to ensure they are able to survive.
“Businesses need certainty. Following the announcement of these measures now we must know how long they will be in place and when we might see restrictions lifted.
If we are to get through this in the best possible shape North East businesses must have news on Government measures via proper channels. There must be no more leaked announcements but instead the proper communications and consultation our companies deserve.”