Leeds has joined neighbours, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale, in being subject to tighter lockdown restrictions.
People from different households will not be able to meet in private homes or gardens.
It is after a sharp rise in new cases in the city, which saw the city’s rolling seven day case rate rise to 98.5 (per 100,000 people) yesterday.
Leeds has been elevated to an ‘area of intervention’ on the Government’s coronavirus watchlist, with the new, stricter rules coming into effect from midnight tonight.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I recognise the burden and impact these additional measures have on our daily lives but we must act collectively and quickly to bring down infections.
“We all have a part to play and I urge everyone to isolate and get a test if you have symptoms, follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace, and always remember ‘hands, face, space’.”
At a Leeds City Council meeting earlier today, Chief Executive Tom Riordan said: ”It looks like we are in the middle of the second wave so we do support these household restrictions being brought in at this stage and this is something that we really need the city to get behind.”
What has been restricted?
From midnight, you will not be allowed to meet people from other households in a private home or garden. Your household is classed as just the people you live with in your main home.
What about support bubbles?
If you have formed a support bubble (which must include a single adult household i.e. people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) these can be treated as if they are members of your household so you can meet them inside a private home or in a private garden.
Can I visit someone’s house if they do not live in Leeds?
No. You can not visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of Leeds.
Can people from outside of the lockdown area visit me at my house?
No. This will be illegal.
Can I still go to work?
Yes. People living inside and outside of the affected areas can continue to travel in and out for work.
What about childcare?
Childcare is exempt from the restrictions.
Family and friends will be able to provide care for children and vulnerable adults through ‘childcare bubbles’
These bubbles will allow families to share caring responsibilities with another household, as long as they are consistent. This includes formal and informal childcare arrangements.
How long will the restrictions be in place?
As long as they are needed, basically.
The restrictions could be in place right the way through winter, according to the Director of Public Health for Leeds, Victoria Eaton.
She said: ”The expectation is that the restrictions will be in place for a longer period of time, potentially right through the winter.”
They will be reviewed every week though, so they could be lifted sooner.
Which parts of Leeds are affected?
All of the Leeds district. The advice from the council today was, if your bins are emptied by Leeds City Council, today’s restrictions apply to you.
Are there any exemptions?
Yes. People can still come inside your home or garden for specific purposes.
- where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
- to attend a birth at the mother’s request
- to visit a person who is dying (the visitor can be someone the dying person lives with, a close family member, friend or, if none of those is visiting, anyone else)
- to fulfil a legal obligation
- for work purposes
- for the purposes of education or training
- for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
- to provide emergency assistance
- to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
- to facilitate a house move
- to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
- to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents
Do I need I need to shield again?
No. The current advice nationally is that clinically extremely vulnerable people do not need to shield and this does not change for people in Leeds with the new restrictions.
Can I still meet people outdoors?
In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households.
At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.
Can I still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places?
Yes. But you should only go with members of your own household – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.
Can I visit a care home?
You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.
Can I travel outside of the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Can I travel into the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Yes. Weddings should be limited to no more than 15 people and subject to Covid-19 secure guidelines.
People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.
Can funerals still take place in the lockdown areas?
Yes. Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to Covid-19 secure guidelines.
People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a funeral.
Can I go to a religious ceremony?
You may attend a mosque, church, synagogue, temple or other place or worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).
If possible, prayer or religious services should take place outdoors.
Can I travel in a car with someone I do not live with?
You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to, try to:
- share the car with the same people each time
- keep to small groups of people at any one time
- open windows for ventilation
- travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
- face away from each other
- consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
- clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
- ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering
Can I holiday in the lockdown area, or visit shops, leisure facilities, or cafes in it?
Yes. However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.
What is the punishment for breaking the restrictions?
West Yorkshire Police can give you a fixed penalty notice for a fine of £200, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £6,400.