Leeds lockdown: Every Covid road map change happening today
The next phase of the lockdown easing is underway in Leeds today (Monday) as the Government's "stay at home" order comes to an end.
From today, groups of up to six people, from any number of households, or a group of any size from up to two households, are allowed to gather in parks and gardens in England, and outdoor sports facilities can reopen.
This ends the “stay at home” order, but people are being encouraged to “stay local” where possible.
Childcare and supervised activities outdoors for all children will also be allowed.
Shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens can reopen from April 12 at the earliest.
The case rate in Leeds has remained relatively stable over the past few weeks, hovering between 100 and 110 cases per 100,000 people.
On Saturday, the seven day rolling case rate data showed there were 107 cases per 100,000 people, up from 102.
But for the over-60s, who are more likely to have been vaccinated, the rate fell to 35 cases per 100,000 people.
Around 325,000 Leeds residents had been vaccinated as of Friday, according to Leeds City Council leader Tom Riordan.
He urged people to: "Please stay in unless essential, keep your distance and take the vaccine when called."
Boris Johnson said he hoped the easing will “kick-start a Great British summer of sport” as sports stars teamed up with the Government to encourage a return to physical activity.
Football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs are now free to reopen after months of being shuttered.
The Prime Minister said: “I know how much people have missed the camaraderie and competition of organised sport, and how difficult it has been to restrict physical activities – especially for children.
“But we must remain cautious, with cases rising across Europe and new variants threatening our vaccine rollout. Despite today’s easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules, remember hands, face, space, and come forward for a vaccine when called.”
Danny Burrell, Leeds City Council’s community tennis activator, has been applying the finishing touches ahead of the reopening of courts in the city.
“I’m incredibly excited,” he said. “I can’t wait after three months off. It will be fantastic just to get back on court. We’ve done all the preparations and we’re ready to go.”
From 8,000 court bookings in 2019, the city’s courts registered 48,000 bookings last year – a 500 per cent increase.
“It really is amazing because for a lot of the time we were in lockdown,” said Burrell.
“With it being a naturally socially-distanced sport it does lend itself to the current situation and what will be the restrictions as of Monday.
“And I think what’s also brought people to the sport is just being able to see one other person. Going out and meeting someone, it seems like an amazing privilege right now.”
More than seven per cent of those bookings, says Burrell, came from people who live in the 10 per cent most deprived areas in the UK.
Burrell and the coaches he works with have used YouTube training sessions to engage children during lockdown and he praised the improvement in the Lawn Tennis Association’s joined-up thinking regarding its grassroots approach, which has been another area of criticism.
He added of the sport’s coronavirus boom: “Obviously it’s been a terrible thing but, if we do look at the bright side, tennis has certainly benefited last year and I’m sure it’ll benefit when we get going this year."
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