West Yorkshire, including Leeds, is set to enter Tier 3 at 12.01am on Monday, November 2 after a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. The areas plunged into lockdown also include Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield.
It comes after South Yorkshire was also moved to the third and highest tier of restrictions. As well as Sheffield, the areas affected include Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster. The new restrictions for South Yorkshire took effect at 12.01am on Saturday October 24.
In a letter to colleagues, Dan Jarvis, the mayor of Sheffield, said: “This decision has not been taken lightly.”
South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said the Government must realise people will only abide by the rules “as long as they feel that what is being proposed is not just reactive, but part of a longer term strategy to defeat the virus”.
What about Leeds and West Yorkshire?
Leeds and West Yorkshire will enter Tier 3 restrictions on November 2.
It was a “very difficult decision” to move West Yorkshire into Tier 3, according to the leader of Leeds City Council, who added it was a “significant moment” for Leeds and the region.
Leeds City Council’s chief executive Tom Riordan said a financial support package of £46.6m had been negotiated with the government for the region in addition to the Tier 2 funding – with an additional £12.7m for testing and tracing.
Casinos, car boot sales, adult gaming centres and soft-play areas will have to close under the new restrictions.
Julian Hartley, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said the number of Covid patients in hospitals had increased to 268 today – higher than in the first wave, a figure he expects to keep rising in the coming days.
Meanwhile the city’s director of public health, Victoria Eaton, said the latest case rate for Leeds is 416.7 per 100,000 people. She added that the city was the 35th in England in terms of the seven-day infection rate.
Ms Eaton said a “cause of concern” was that, for the first time on Wednesday, the age group with the highest number of cases was the 30 to 44-year-olds rather than the 16 to 29-year-olds.
She said the situation is “incredibly challenging at the moment”.