Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes has set out his initial response to Boris Johnson's announcement that the country will go into a four-week national lockdown next week.

And he said the region needed support from central government to help people cope with the impact of the lockdown.

Coun Forbes said: "I will be putting all of my efforts over the next few days into making sure we get the right support in place to support people who are affected by the lockdown."

He said the things he would ask for include:

Coun Forbes said: "The first I heard of this announcement was on television tonight. There has been no prior warning.

"Everybody is left reeling, not knowing quite what it means for them, and with people contacting the local authorities desperately seeking advice which we can't give because we haven't had the information yet from central government."

The "circuit-breaker" national lockdown begins on Thursday, November 5 and continues until Wednesday, December 2.

Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops will have to close, but schools and universities will remain open.

The furlough scheme, with employees who cannot work paid 80% of their usual wages, will be extended for the duration of this national lockdown.

The Prime Minister, who will also make a statement in Parliament on Monday, held a Downing Street press conference where he explained tough national measures were needed to stop the NHS being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

And the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the number of people who die in the current second wave of coronavirus could be twice as high as it was in the first wave.

Mr Johnson said: “We know the cost of these restrictions – the impact on jobs and livelihoods, and people’s mental health. No-one wants to be imposing these measures.”

The Prime Minister thanked people who had been “putting up with” local restrictions.

But he warned: “We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature… the virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers.

“Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day – a peak of mortality, alas, bigger than the one we saw in April.”

The Prime Minister said overrunning of the NHS would be a “medical and moral disaster, beyond the raw loss of life”.

He added: “Doctors and nurses would be forced to choose which patients to treat, who would get oxygen and who wouldn’t, who would live and who would die.

“Doctors and nurses would be forced to choose between saving Covid patients and non-Covid patients.

“The sheer weight of Covid demand would mean depriving tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, if not millions of non-Covid patients of the care they need.”

He added: “The risk is, for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us.”