A map shows what experts think will happen to the number of Covid-19 cases across the North East after Christmas.
Scientists at Imperial College London have mapped out the areas they believe will face a spike in infections going into the New Year.
In the map, experts have used a probability scale which moves from light grey through to red depending on how many cases exceeding 100 per 100,000 population are expected on each date.
Mirror Online reports that according to the map, Tier 3 hotspots including Leeds will move out of the red zone by December 25, and cases in previous areas of concern such as Liverpool will continue to drop.
But over Christmas, much of the South East of England sees a sea of towns and cities in the 80-100% probability range – including all of London – as do Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Swansea.
Meanwhile experts have predicted Gateshead, which has the lowest infection rate in the region, only has a 17% chance of recording more than 100 cases per 100,000 a week after Christmas.
London, which was plunged into Tier 3 yesterday, has the highest case rate in the country, at 319.3 per 100,000, according to the latest Government figures.
The city – home to nearly nine million people – has also seen the highest increase in case rates week-on-week.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said: “A smaller, shorter and local Christmas is safest for you and your loved ones. It is crucial to remember that about one in three people may never experience any symptoms so could pass this virus on unwittingly.
View the full interactive map here
“Remember to keep your distance, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces, and wash your hands regularly.”
Despite concerns cases soaring in the coming weeks, the Government has opted to plough ahead with controversial Christmas bubbles, which will see three households allowed to mix indoors for five days from December 23.
Making a statement in the Commons, Matt Hancock said the country has “come so far” and “mustn’t blow it now”, after festive truce crunch talks were held on Wednesday.
He said: “As we enter the coldest months we must be vigilant and keep this virus under control.”
On Friday, 28,507 more cases were confirmed in the UK as well as 489 deaths, bringing the overall total to 66,541.
The probability of each North East area having more than 100 cases per 100,000 in the first week in January
Newcastle upon Tyne – 88%
Northumberland – 86%
Sunderland – 52%
Gateshead – 17%
South Tyneside – 98%
North Tyneside – 15%
County Durham – 82%
Darlington – 62%
Stockton-on-Tees – 45%
Redcar and Cleveland – 35%
Middlesbrough – 82%