WATCH: Your latest news headlines from Newcastle on Friday, December 17

The latest news headlines for Newcastle and the North East

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Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are reminding people to stay safe whilst they are out on Black Eye Friday.

They are also mirroring the message from the Royal Life Saving Society’s recent Don’t Drink and Drown campaign which encourages people to make smart decisions whilst drinking around water.

Meanwhile, New Year’s Eve fireworks have been cancelled by all LA7 councils due to Covid crowd concerns.

The firework displays, which did not go ahead last year, have again been shelved due to the threat from the new Omicron variant. However, Newcastle City Council have said that their laser show on the Tyne Bridge will still go ahead.

And finally, as term comes to an end, it has been revealed Newcastle schools have been struggling with staff illness due to the rise in Covid 19 cases.

A council education boss has warned that the pressure on teachers is likely to go on as the Omicron variant causes more infections across the UK into 2022. No schools in Newcastle have reached a critical point yet but there is still worry around the number of Covid cases.