Region’s leaders respond to national lockdown

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the country and announced a new national lockdown starting at midnight on Thursday 5 November.

Following this announcement, West Yorkshire leaders, who had agreed with government on Thursday evening to enter the very high, Tier 3 lockdown level from 00.01 on Monday 2 November, announced that this was no longer the case, stating: “the region will now NOT be moving into Tier 3 measures on Monday”.

The statement also stated that the group of leaders were “frustrated and angry about the government’s timing, handling and communications around the plans for a national lockdown.”

The move to cancel West Yorkshire’s escalation to the highest level of regional lockdown means that should the national lockdown end on 2 December (as indicated may be the case by government) it will once again return to Tier 2 and its hospitality industries will be able to reopen.

In other parts of the county, South Yorkshire mayor, Dan Jarvis said: “We should not be in this position.” He added that the government had ignored the its own scientific advisors gave clear and suggested “real harm will have been done as a consequence.”

He continued that “this lockdown must be integrated into a robust, long-term plan to manage the virus. The point of a lockdown is to buy time to strengthen other measures, and especially to fix the test and trace system. The government must fully fund local authorities to carry out local test and trace, and get a grip of the outsourced, Serco-run national system.”

The latest lockdown measures which come into for at 00.01 on Thursday (5 November) mean:

All non-essential retail will close, including pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues and leisure facilities except for takeaways

People will only be able to leave their home for specific reasons including work, essential shopping, exercise and in case of emergencies

Other businesses including building and manufacturing will remain open provided they follow Government guidance

Early years, schools and further and higher education will remain open

There will be further restrictions on household mixing

There is a determination to keep the NHS open

Vulnerable people are asked to minimise their contact with others