Leeds in lockdown: How the 2020 Covid pandemic unfolded in 20 pictures

It's been a tough year in Leeds and one that some might not want to look back on.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 10:27 am
How the 2020 Covid pandemic unfolded in 20 pictures

The city could never have predicted the year that was to come, with coronavirus spreading across communities and having a profound impact on many lives. As 2020 draws to a close, we revisit the defining moments of the pandemic in Leeds - from lockdowns to cheering for our NHS. Here's how the pandemic unfolded, in 20 pictures:

The first two coronavirus cases in Leeds were confirmed on March 1. People were at first advised by the Government to ‘go about their normal business’, before social distancing measures were introduced as cases increased.
An eerily quiet Leeds city centre in March, after the first national lockdown was enforced on the 23rd. Police patrolled the city centre as people were told to stay at home, only permitted to leave for exercise once a day.

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Police and firefighters pictured at Leeds General Infirmary, showing their support for NHS workers on the frontline of the pandemic during the Clap For Our Carers. People across Leeds took to their doorsteps, banging pots and pans and cheering the NHS heroes
The first drive-through testing centre opened in Leeds on April 11 at the Temple Green Park & Ride site. Initially for NHS workers, testing was later rolled out to everyone with symptoms in May
A sad milestone was reached on April 16 when 100 coronavirus patients were confirmed to have died at hospitals in Leeds. The Yorkshire Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate was opened on April 21, providing 500 beds for coronavirus patients
By May, coronavirus cases had fallen in Leeds and national restrictions were lifted for the first time on May 13. A family enjoyed exercise in Golden Acre Park, as the exercise cap is lifted
Shoppers queue outside Primark on June 15 as non-essential shops reopened. Some pupils had returned to school and the infection rate continued to fall in Leeds
Dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, pubs, bars and restaurants reopened for the first time on July 4, along with hairdressers and beauty salons.
A shopper wears a mask on Briggate. It may seem second nature to us now, but face masks were only made compulsory in shops on July 24.
Diners enjoyed a 50% discount off food at The New Conservatory during the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August. Leeds was buzzing with people again, with queues forming outside many of the city's restaurants
By September, the Covid infection rate was rising week-on-week. The first local lockdown was enforced September 25, with indoor household mixing banned once again
University students returned to Leeds at the end of September, pictured here in Hyde Park during Freshers Week. Major Covid outbreaks occurred in student areas such as Hyde Park, Woodhouse and Headingley - with rates in these areas as high as 4,500 new cases per 100,000 people by October.
The three-tier system of Covid restrictions came into force on October 13, with Leeds initially placed in Tier 2. On October 29 it was confirmed that West Yorkshire would move to Tier 3 - but this was scrapped when the second national lockdown was announced
Police patrol Leeds Station during the second national lockdown in November. People were once again told to stay at home, leaving only for essential trips
It was confirmed in November that 1,300 Covid patients had been discharged from Leeds hospitals since the start of the pandemic. The chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust praised the "tremendous spirit and resilience" of NHS staff
But a tragic milestone was reached on December 1, when it was confirmed that 1,000 people in Leeds had died after testing positive for coronavirus. Leeds Council leader Judith Blake said: “This tragic and sobering milestone demonstrates that the virus continues to take a profound toll on the lives of residents and families in Leeds”
The national lockdown ended on December 2, with Leeds placed under Tier 3 restrictions despite falling infection rates. The number of new cases and hospital admissions fell throughout December, with the council making the case for Leeds to move down to Tier 2
103-year-old Marjorie Patterson became one of the oldest people in Leeds to be vaccinated, following the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
It was a quiet Christmas for many in Leeds this year, with the three-family bubble policy reduced to just Christmas Day. Staff at Leeds Children's Hospital were worried that patients would miss out on Santa, so they hoisted Father Christmas onto a cherry picker outside hospital windows to wave through the windows.
Leeds has escaped Tier 4 restrictions for now, but the infection rate is climbing. However, the year has ended with positive news with the approval of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be rolled out in the city from Monday