Cllr Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said:
“We are disappointed the Government has not recognised the huge effort from everybody in our borough to keep themselves and others safe, and to restrict the spread of the virus.
The number of new cases and the infection rate in our borough has fallen steeply over the past month and I would like to thank everybody for everything they have done to achieve this.
“The decision means that some of our fantastic businesses cannot resume trading, particularly those in the hospitality sector for whom this is the busiest time of the year and being able to trade could have been the difference to survive into the new year. We remain extremely concerned about the impact of the restrictions on our economy and the jobs it provides.
“Despite this, we are all looking forward to some relief from what has been an incredibly tough year with the chance to celebrate Christmas. I’m sure everybody has been busy with arrangements for the festive period.
“However, the virus hasn’t gone away and remains a real threat to all, particularly the elderly and vulnerable. We should never forget how many families have lost loved ones during the pandemic – five Redcar and Cleveland residents have died in the past seven days alone.
“I hope everybody has a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas and New Year break but please stay safe. It really is important that everybody follows the guidelines to prevent another surge of infection during January. That would surely mean many more people falling seriously ill and the possibility of another lockdown.
“Let’s all do out bit to keep our infection rate down, reduce the number of people needing to go into hospital and ensure more people do not lose loved ones to this terrible virus.”