Leeds has been placed under strict local locking rules in an effort to slow the spread of corona virus cases in the district.
Leeds City Council officials released the news during a lunch break yesterday, ahead of the government’s official confirmation in the afternoon.
Strict restrictions came into effect at midnight, and people from both houses were barred from meeting in a private house or garden.
It connects Leeds with neighboring districts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.
What the new rules say
Basically, you can’t meet people from other homes in a private home or garden.
This means that even if you live outside Leeds, you will not be able to visit someone else’s house or garden, and they will not be able to visit your house or garden to see you.
Just like those in the same social bubble, there are plenty of exemptions for child care and people who have to enter homes for work.
The full list of exceptions can be found here.
Now why have they been brought up
The rate of corona virus infection in Leeds has been rising for several weeks now.
In Yorkshire, Leeds is consistently the most – or in second place – new cases confirmed every day for the majority of September.
The district’s infection rate broke 100 for the first time yesterday and rose again today. It is a short distance from Bradford on 154.1, and Bolton is just behind the most affected area on 242.0, but it only goes one way, and officials think they need to take action.
The reasons for the spread of cases are not entirely clear, but the government has pointed out that stopping the mixing of houses is one of the main ways we can reduce the number of new cases.
Yesterday, Mr Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said: “We do not have enough people to do the basics like wearing a mask and being socially distant. That’s what we need next.”
Where the rules apply
Leeds is placed under the same rules throughout the district.
As Council President Judith Blake said yesterday: “People will be included in the restrictions if their tank is vacated by the Leeds City Council.”
How long do the rules last?
As long as they are needed, but we see longer than the previous rule changes.
Leeds Public Health Director Victoria Eden warned that they could be late in the winter.
He said: “The expectation is that the restrictions will be in place for a long time in the winter.”
The government said they would continue to review the rules, so they would be removed soon.
This is what happens if you break the rules
West Yorkshire Police can give you a standard fine notice of up to $ 200, and double the maximum for violations, up to 4,6,400.
How people behaved
Surprisingly, those in Leeds were often upset by the new rules, whether they agreed or not.
Some accused the people of not following the rules that preceded the new reforms. For example, Elena Nicola commented: “Those who do not follow the rules are the reason we return to the square.”
Others questioned the logic behind some of the rules. Lisa Longbott said: “It’s very vague and open not to do what is expected of people.
There were also those who argued that they would not stick around if people had new rules throughout the winter.
Irene Westwood said: “Do they really expect people not to see their grandchildren for 6 months, including Christmas? They have already missed them for more than 3 months.”
What the council said
Announcing the rules this morning, Leeds Council chief executive Tom Riordan said: “We seem to be in the middle of a second wave, so we support bringing these housing restrictions at this point.
Council President Judith Blake said sending the message was “confusing and contradictory”, but the council has come up with a whole “message” that will help people comply and protect communities across Leeds.
He added: “Everyone must take personal responsibility for the way they behave.”
What the MPs said
When the Department of Health and Social Security officially announced the restrictions at 6pm yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Acceleration of COVID-19 cases continues across the country, especially in the North West and Northeast.
“By working with our scientific and public health professionals and local leaders, we are ready to take swift and decisive action to reduce the spread of the virus and protect communities.
“I feel the burden and impact these extra activities have on our daily lives, but we need to act collectively and quickly to reduce infections.
“We all have a role to play. Isolate everyone if you have symptoms and ask them to get tested. Follow the advice of the NHS test and Trace, always remembering ‘hands, face, location’.”
Leeds MPs are very obedient to the message. Most have tweeted suggestions from the government or the council.
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