Unfortunately, Leeds is moving into a Local COVID Alert Level of VERY HIGH or TIER 3 from Monday 2 November.
This is due to an increase in the seven-day average infection rate, which is now 416 per 100,000 compared to 73.6 just over six weeks ago. Every ward in Leeds now has a rate of over 200, and more than half have a rate of over 400. Our hospitals now have higher numbers of patients than we were seeing in April during the national lockdown and are having to cancel non-urgent surgeries to ensure they have sufficient beds. This shows that infection is increasing across Leeds rapidly, and we all need to do everything we can to bring this rate down and protect our health services.
I would encourage all of my constituents to review the guidance to understand fully what this means:
- Local COVID alert level: Very High
- Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know
- Full list of local COVID alert levels by area
However, the core restrictions in Very High areas are as follows:
- Pubs and bars are to be closed unless serving alcohol with a substantial meal and remain subject to the 10pm curfew if remaining open.
- Households cannot mix with others indoors or outdoors, except in parks and other public places provided they follow the rule of six. This does not apply to those within your support or childcare bubble.
- Shops, schools and universities will remain open.
- Wedding ceremonies are permitted with up to 15 people, but wedding receptions are not. Funerals remain permitted for up to 30 people.
- You are advised not to travel inside or outside the area except for certain purposes such as education, work and caring responsibilities
In addition, the following will apply in West Yorkshire:
- Casinos, soft play areas, adult gaming centres, betting shops and car boot sales to close.
- Shisha bars will not be able to serve shisha, but can operate as cafes.
- Gyms will remain open, but guidance is against indoor exercise classes taking place.
I appreciate there will be concerns held by those businesses required to close, and I am pleased to confirm that a package of funding worth £46.6m has been provided by the Government to support businesses in West Yorkshire at this time. This funding is additional to the existing Job Support Scheme and Local Restrictions Support Grants previously announced by the Government.
I know this continues to be incredibly frustrating for my constituents, but I hope we can all work together so that these restrictions can be eased.