Leeds news LIVE: Key questions answered as Leeds placed in Tier-two Covid system

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Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 7:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 7:14 am

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Leeds will be put in 'Tier Two' of the new local lockdown restrictions.

Leeds news LIVE: Friday, October 16

Last updated: Monday, 12 October, 2020, 11:57

  • Public Health England figures show that 14,732 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Thursday (October 15) in Leeds
  • Leeds's cases were among the 80,537 recorded across Yorkshire and The Humber, a figure which rose by 2,515 over the period.
  • Tory MPs have stepped up the pressure on Boris Johnson over his handling of the second Covid wave as a bitter row festers between Downing Street and Northern leaders.
  • The ongoing division between Westminster and local leaders is “very damaging to public health”, a leading scientist has said.
  • Millions of older people are facing a potential public health emergency as they struggle alone, physically and mentally deteriorate and cannot properly grieve during the coronavirus pandemic, a charity has warned.
  • The Prime Minister is due to set out whether trade talks with the European Union should continue after his deadline for reaching an agreement passed without a deal in place.

What does Tier 2 mean for Leeds?

Restrictions in Leeds do not change much under the new tier as we were already in a 'local lockdown' announced on Friday, September 25.

Essentially, the rule is not to mix with other households in indoor settings. This includes in homes and in public places like pubs, restaurants etc.

People can meet with people outside in spaces like gadens or parks. However, they cannot meet up with more than six people.

Pubs, bars and gyms are allowed to stay open.

Schools, universities and places of worship remain open.

Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees.

The city also must follows the national rules such as the 10pm hospitality curfew.

The three-tier Covid restrictions: Key questions answered

A new three-tier strategy of local lockdown measures for England has been announced by Boris Johnson in efforts to curb rising Covid-19 rates.

The Prime Minister told the Commons on Monday that this will “simplify and standardise” local lockdown rules.

– What is the new system?

Different areas of England will be split up into medium, high and very high alert levels.

These three tiers represent an advancing scale of local lockdown restrictions.

– Will areas classed as medium see any changes?

These areas will be subject to the same national measures which currently apply across the country.

These include the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.

– What about those in the high alert level?

Household mixing is banned indoors, although support bubbles will still be permitted, while the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors.

Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will move to this level - including Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.

Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into the high alert level, he added.

– And the very high alert level?

Social mixing will be banned both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars will be told to close unless they can operate as a restaurant.

Local leaders will help to determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos, in very high alert level areas.

People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.

– What will pubs in these areas be able to serve?

In areas where premises could only remain open as restaurants, officials said the expectation was that drinks could only be served with a substantial meal – a bag of crisps would not suffice.

The proposed legislation uses the term “table meal”, saying alcohol can only be sold as part of one which “might be expected to be served as the main midday or main evening meal”.

– Will schools or shops be shut at any level?

No. Schools, non-essential retail and universities will remain open in all levels, according to Downing Street.

- What happens next?

MPs will debate and vote on the measures on Tuesday and the new tiered system will come into effect on Wednesday. 

The introduction of the measures will also see the revocation of previous local lockdown measures which were introduced in the West Midlands and north of England. 

Measures are to be kept under review, and the secretary of state will review Tier 2 areas at least once a fortnight, and restrictions under Tier 2 once every 28 days. 

There will be a four-week sunset clause for areas facing the toughest restrictions.

What you may have missed:

Leeds will be put in tier two of the new local lockdown restrictions.

Tier two is the 'high' alert level - in between medium and very high.

Bars, pubs and restaurants can remain open, while still closing at 10pm.

The rest of West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire are also in the high alert area.

Merseyside is the only part of the country to be placed in the 'very high' alert area, meaning pubs will have to close.

Good morning on Tuesday, October 13

Good morning and welcome to the Yorkshire Evening Post live blog on Tuesday, October 13. We’ll bring you the latest news from across the city. 

Got a story you think we should know about? Email us on [email protected]

A-Level and GCSE exams in England delayed next year

Most A-level and GCSE exams in England will be delayed by three weeks next year due to the pandemic, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed.

Rising coronavirus cases a “nationwide” problem and not just in the North

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the rise in coronavirus cases was now being seen “nationwide” and was not solely a problem for northern England.

Addressing a slide shown earlier in the briefing about rates increasing in the South of England, he said: “You have worried me now that I might have presented a bi-polar picture that Covid-19 is a problem in the North and not a problem in the South.

“On the contrary, the epidemic this time has clearly picked up pace in the North of England earlier than it did in the first wave and that almost certainly relates to the fact the disease levels in the North, and certainly in the North West, never dropped as far in the summer as they did in the South.

“But pretty much all areas of the UK are now seeing growths in the infection rate and that extending brown map that I showed you, which is sourced from the Joint Biosecurity Centre, absolutely makes that point.

“This is a nationwide phenomenon now that rates are changing upwards across the UK.”

What tier will Leeds be in? Local lockdown Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 explained as Boris Johnson to make speech

Pubs, bars, casinos, betting shops and gyms will close in Tier 3 local lockdown areas in new restrictions expected to be announced today.

“Still no cure or vaccine for Covid-19"

NHS England’s Stephen Powis said there was still no cure or vaccine for Covid-19.

“Sadly, as the number of those infected increases, then so will the number of people who die,” he said.

“And that’s why the Government is looking at what other measures could be introduced in the areas where infection is rising the most.

“As the Secretary of State for Health has said, if we do not take measures to control the spread of the virus the death toll will be too great to bear.”

Temporary Nightingale hospitals could be bough back into use

The temporary Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate could be brought back into use to help with the spike in Covid-19 cases.

NHS England’s Professor Stephen Powis told a Downing Street briefing there would also be increased testing of health staff in hotspot areas.

He said: “To protect our staff and our patients we will be introducing – with tests provided by the Test and Trace service – regular testing for staff in these high-risk areas, even when they don’t have symptoms.

“This will help us keep staff and patients in those hospitals as safe as possible.

“Secondly, we have asked the Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate to prepare for this next phase.

“They are being asked to mobilise over the next few weeks to be ready to accept patients if necessary.”

It will be for local clinicians to decide whether they are used for Covid patients or to provide extra capacity to maintain services for people without coronavirus.

“Marked pick-up” in coronavirus cases, says England’s deputy chief medical officer

England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said there had clearly been a “marked pick-up” in coronavirus case, which would result in more deaths.

At a briefing to present the latest data, Professor Van-Tam said that although there was more testing now than at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, it was clear there was a resurgence in cases.

“The key point is that having had a rather flat summer, with very low amounts of Covid-positive patients in the UK, you can see that from early September there has been a marked pick-up,” he said.

There is a lag between cases being identified and patients being admitted to hospital or dying.

“The hospital admissions we have now actually relate to a time when there fewer cases of Covid-19,” he said.

“Already, with the cases that we know about, we have baked in additional hospital admissions and sadly we also have baked in additional deaths that are now consequent upon infections that have already happened.”

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