Simon Hanson, North East development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses, said it was "absolutely critical" that small and micro businesses were given grant support quickly to help them adapt and provide cashflow.
Mr Hancock insisted testing capacity was at "record levels" but admitted there was a "challenge" being presented by demand for tests rising faster.
The new measures are expected to include a ban on care home visits for all but "essential visitors" - the first such measure since the UK-wide lockdown in spring.
"In all probability that's what it means", she said.
She said infection numbers in Germany were not increasing as fast as those in the UK.
Earlier on Thursday, health minister Edward Argar explained the reasons behind imposing curfews by comparing the spike in the North East to that in the North West, where he said the "nighttime economy" had led to people flouting social distancing rules.
The news of the restrictions immediately raises questions for other regions: in the northwest, Liverpool and neighbouring Warrington both have infection rates higher than numerous seven northeast council areas included in the new restrictions, suggesting they too may face further measures.
Superintendent Steve Long, of Durham Constabulary, said: "We would like to thank the vast majority of people who have taken personal responsibility, done the right thing and stuck to the guidance over the last few months".
Nearly two million people in the North East of England will be banned from socialising with other households, following a "concerning" rise in Covid-19, the Health Secretary has announced.
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While in the rest of the United Kingdom some exemptions for organised sporting events of more than 6 people (Rule of 6) exist it's highly questionable to try and get round the regulations by suggestion your regular ride with your mates is anything remotely organised.
"So what we've done is try to get ahead of the curve and ask government for some additional temporary restrictions so that we can get on top of the virus in all of those areas".
The restrictions, which include a 10pm curfew on businesses including pubs and restaurants.
"So we want to ensure that isn't another opportunity for the virus to keep spreading".
One Newcastle councillor said: "We're set to get the toughest local lockdown so far up here".
Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, told Sky News, "It has added to the farcical way the government has handled this".
Robert Jenrick, the housing, communities and local government secretary, confirmed the implementation of new restrictions when he appeared on ITV's Peston programme on Wednesday evening.
Residents are also being advised not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues.
"We've seen local action work well in some parts of the country, and now we must take further action".