Leeds news Live: More areas join Tier 3 local lockdown as discussions continue with Leeds and West Yorkshire
South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester joined the Liverpool City Region and Lancashire in the highest tier of England’s Covid-19 restrictions at midnight on Saturday, while other areas could soon be facing stricter rules
Officials in Warrington and West Yorkshire are in discussion with the Government about a move to Tier 3 and parts of Nottinghamshire could also face more stringent measures aimed at halting the spread of coronavirus.
Discussions with Leeds and West Yorkshire and the rest of the government are continuing.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “There are talks taking place with West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire today.
“Those talks have been ongoing for a little while.”
Elsewhere, people living in Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough moved into the Tier 2 “high” coronavirus level at one minute past midnight on Saturday.
Since October 12, England has been operating under a three-tier system of local restrictions which divides areas into different categories, labelled as medium, also known as Tier 1, high, also known as Tier 2, or very high risk, which is referred to as Tier 3.
But what are the differences between the tiers and how has the country been carved up?
– What happens if your area is in Tier 3?
Around 2.8 million people in Greater Manchester joined some 3.1 million in Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region already under the most severe restrictions in the early hours of Saturday. South Yorkshire also entered Tier 3 restrictions on Saturday.
In these areas, social mixing is banned both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars must close unless they can operate as a restaurant.
The rule of six applies in some outdoor settings such as parks, public gardens and sports courts.
Local leaders help the Government to determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos.
In Greater Manchester, the new measures could lead to the closure of more than 1,800 pubs and 140 wine bars, as well as 277 betting shops and 12 casinos, according to the real estate adviser Altus Group.
In the Liverpool City Region, indoor gyms and fitness studios were forced to shut, alongside sports facilities, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos.
Gyms in Merseyside are now allowed to reopen in line with other areas under the toughest local lockdown restrictions.
Gyms remain open in Lancashire but the adult gaming industry, casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers and betting shops, and soft play areas were made to shut.
Shops and places of worship can remain open, as can schools and colleges, while universities must reflect wider restrictions with the option to move to greater online provision.
Up to 15 guests are allowed at weddings and 30 people can attend funerals, with 15 allowed at wakes, but wedding receptions are not permitted.
People living in Tier 3 areas are advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK and should avoid travel where possible in and out of the area, unless it is for work, education or caring responsibilities.
Number 10 confirmed that, under Tier 2 and 3 rules on household mixing, people can still meet up for work meetings indoors under certain circumstances.
– What happens in Tier 2 and where is affected?
Areas categorised as high risk have restrictions on household mixing indoors while the rule of six continues to apply outdoors.
People must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.
Up to 15 guests are allowed at weddings and up to 30 people allowed at funerals, with 15 allowed at receptions and wakes.
Shops, gyms, all education settings, and places of worship can remain open, with overnight stays permitted.
Travel advice for those living in Tier 2 areas is to reduce the number of journeys they take where possible and avoid travel into very high Tier 3 areas.
Areas in Tier 2 include Cheshire, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, West Midlands, and Leicestershire.
London, Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Erewash moved to Tier 2 last Saturday.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford confirmed a two-week “firebreak” lockdown in the country from Friday until November 9, and those living under Tiers 2 and 3 in England were already banned from travelling across the Welsh border from Friday last week.
– What restrictions are placed on areas in Tier 1?
Areas classed as medium risk, those in Tier 1, are subject to the same national measures which were commonplace across England earlier this year.
These include the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.
Up to 15 guests will be allowed at weddings and up to 30 people allowed at funerals, with 15 allowed at receptions and wakes.
Shops, gyms, all education settings, and places of worship will remain open, with overnight stays permitted and no travel restrictions within the area, although people are advised to avoid travel into Tier 3 areas where possible.
Leeds news LIVE: Why self isolation could be cut
Last updated: Sunday, 25 October, 2020, 09:55
- Self isolation period for those in contact with Covid cases could be cut to just seven days
- Police called to overturned trailer blocking three lanes on M62 motorway
M62: Overturned trailer blocking three lanes
Self-isolation could be cut to just seven days
Contacts of people infected with coronavirus may have to self-isolate for as little as seven days amid concerns in Whitehall about the levels of public compliance with the Test and Trace system.
Officials on the Government’s Covid-19 taskforce are understood to be examining the case for reducing the current fortnight period of isolation to between 10 days and a week.
The move – which would not apply to those who test positive for the disease – comes amid growing dissatisfaction with the performance of the system from ministers and MPs.
Boris Johnson was said to have become “disillusioned” with statistics provided by the service after they proved to be wrong, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
At the same time, there were said to be concerns that the prospect of a lengthy period indoors if they are contacted by Test and Trace is deterring people from co-operating.
The Telegraph quoted a No 10 source as saying: “Compliance is not as high as we would like and self-isolation is key if we are going to beat the virus.”
It comes after Test and Trace – headed by the Conservative peer Baroness Harding – last week hit a record low with just 59.6% of the contacts of people who tested positive for the disease being successfully contacted and told to self-isolate.
In a further sign of the unrest at Westminster, senior Tory backbencher Sir Bernard Jenkin launched a scathing attack on the performance of the system, saying public consent and co-operation was “breaking down”.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, he said there was a “vacuum of leadership” at the top of the organisation and called for a change that was “visible and decisive” with a senior military figure being put in charge.
“There is a spaghetti of command and control at the top, which is incapable of coherent analysis, assessment, planning and delivery,” he wrote.
“The immediate priority is to fill the vacuum of leadership in Test and Trace, which is destroying cooperation and compliance.
“Government harnessed the military to regain control in the foot and mouth crisis; the Prime Minister should follow that example today, by installing a single leader, a three or four star military commander with a reputation for handling complexity under stress.
“Test and trace should then be tasked with generating and sustaining a campaign targeted at achieving behaviour change by consent.”
Sir Bernard, who chairs the Liaison Committee of senior MPs which questions the Prime Minister twice a year, added that Lady Harding should be given a “well-earned break” so she and others could “reflect on the lessons learned so far”.
In response, the Department of Health and Social Care acknowledged there were areas where the service needed to improve, but said people should be “talking it up, not down”.
“Dido Harding and her leadership team – drawn from the military, public and private sectors – have built the largest diagnostic industry the UK has ever seen,” a spokesman said.
“It is the equivalent of building an operation the size of Tesco in a matter of months. The NHS Test and Trace system has built a testing capacity of 400,000 tests a day, from a starting point of 2,000 a day in March.
“This capacity is bigger per head than France, Germany, Italy and Spain and we have contacted over 1.1 million people and asked them to self-isolate.
“We need to improve in areas and we are very much focused on that, but we should be talking it up, not down.”
Meanwhile, talks are expected to continue this week between the Government and local leaders in Nottinghamshire, with parts of the county expected to enter the tightest Tier 3 restrictions on Wednesday.
The council in Warrington in Cheshire has already confirmed it will be moving to the very high alert level on Thursday.
It follows South Yorkshire which joined Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire in Tier 3 on Saturday.
M1 VEHICLE FIRE:
There are delays of at least 30 minutes above usual journey times on the southbound approach to the incident.
Highways Yorkshire said at least four miles of traffic has already built up.
Please allow extra time for your journeys this evening.
Lane closures have been made on the M1 southbound between J46 for Colton and J45 for Leeds .
Traffic Officers are on the scene of a vehicle fire and Highways Yorkshire have lane closures in place.
There is some congestion in the area.
Updates to follow.
Statement from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
"The fire was out when we arrived.
"Crews assisted with the safe evacuation of the building and confirmed that the fire was out, then cleared smoke from the basement of the building.
"Everyone has now been allowed back into the building.
“No one was injured.”
Fire thought to be caused by tumble dryer
The fire was thought to have been caused by a tumble dryer and fire crews are preparing to issue a statement on the blaze now:
First photos of fire at Leeds city centre high rise flats
The fire alarm went off at about 9am at Arena Village, close to the First Direct Arena and the Merrion Centre