Leeds Tier 3 lockdown: rules explained and your key questions answered as Covid restrictions change

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West Yorkshire will move into the Tier 3 “very high” Covid local alert level on 2 November

Stricter local lockdown restrictions will come into force in Leeds as West Yorkshire becomes the latest region to be moved into the Tier 3 “very high” Covid-19 alert level.

The decision will affect more than two million people in the region and comes after local authorities secured a financial support package from the government worth an additional £59.3 million.

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Leeds’ director of public health Victoria Eaton said the latest case rate for the city is 416.7 per 100,000 people, with the highest number of cases between the age group of 30 to 44.

Tier 3 restrictions will come into force from 00.01 on Monday 2 NovemberTier 3 restrictions will come into force from 00.01 on Monday 2 November
Tier 3 restrictions will come into force from 00.01 on Monday 2 November

Here are all of your questions answered regarding the new restrictions:

When do the new restrictions take effect?

The new local restrictions will come into force from 00.01 on Monday 2 November.

Where do the restrictions apply?

The new rules will apply to all five districts in West Yorkshire. These include:

- Leeds- City of Bradford

- Calderdale

- Wakefield

- Kirklees

What are the rules on household mixing?

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Undr Tier 3 rules, you must not meet socially with family or friends indoors in any setting, unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

As well as a ban on meeting in private homes, this also includes indoor hospitality venues, such as:

- pubs and restaurants, where they are permitted to open

- leisure and entertainment venues

- places of worship

You must also not meet with anyone outside of your household, or support bubble, in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.

However, you may continue to meet family and friends who you do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, in groups of up to six or less in certain outdoor public spaces. These include:

- Parks, beaches, countryside, forests

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- Public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments

- Outdoor sports courts and facilities, and playgrounds

When meeting socially, you must not meet in a group that exceeds six people. In England this limit of six includes children of any age.

You also cannot meet indoors with people outside of the area, unless exceptions apply.

What are the fines for breaking the rules?

Meeting in larger groups is against the law and the police can take action against you if this rule is broken, including breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines.

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You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

Which venues will close?

Casinos, betting shops, soft play centres and areas, adult gaming centres must also close, and car boot sales will be prohibited.

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The use of shared smoking equipment (such as, but not limited to, shisha) in hospitality venues will also be prohibited.

Bars, restaurants and cafes which usually serve shared smoking equipment may otherwise continue to operate in line with the regulations on hospitality venues for ‘very high’ areas.

What about gyms?

Leisure and sporting facilities, such as leisure centres, gyms, fitness and dance studios, swimming pools, and sports courts, can remain open under Tier 3 rules.

However, it is strongly advised that indoor group exercise classes, including dance and fitness classes, should not take place.

Are there any exceptions?

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There are a number of exceptions which allow people from different households to gather in groups larger than six people. These include:

- in a legally permitted support bubble

- in a legally permitted childcare bubble for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services

- for registered childcare, education or training

- for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians

- for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them

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- for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups

- for birth partners

- to see someone who is dying

- to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm

- to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service

- to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable

- to facilitate a house move

- for a wedding or equivalent ceremony and wedding receptions where the organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus – up to a maximum of 15 people (not to take place in private dwellings)

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- for funerals – up to a maximum of 30 people; wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people present (not to take place in private dwellings)

- for elite sportspeople and their coaches if necessary for competition and training, as well as parents or guardians if they are a child

- for outdoor exercise and dance classes, organised outdoor sport and licensed outdoor physical activity

- for indoor organised sport for disabled people, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s

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- support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support (not to take place in private dwellings)

- protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-secure guidance

Other activities, such as organised indoor sport, indoor exercise classes and other activity groups, can only continue provided that households or support bubbles do not mix. Where it is likely that groups will mix, these activities must not go ahead.

What about childcare?

There are exceptions from the legal gatherings limits for registered childcare, education or training, and supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups.

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This means you can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders, after-school clubs and nannies.

The following people are permitted to provide childcare support in private homes and gardens:

- registered childcare providers, including nannies

- people in your support bubble

- people in your childcare bubble

Can I go to work?

Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges that workers can carry out their normal duties from home, they should do so.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary.

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Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.

What about travel?

You may continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open for work, voluntary, charitable or youth services, or to access education, within a high alert level area.

However, you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible. If you need to travel, it is encouraged that you walk or cycle, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

People are also advised not to travel into or out of West Yorkshire to help manage the risk of transmission, but you can continue to travel outside of the area if you need to for work, education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities.

Can I still go on holiday?

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It is advised that you avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, except if you need to for work, education or caring responsibilities. This means you should not stay in a second home, if you own one, or stay with anyone you do not live or visit their home.

You may travel to hotels and other guest accommodation within that West Yorkshire, but you should only do this with people in your household or support bubble.

When considering travelling internationally, you should look at the rules in place at your destination, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice and the current travel corridor list.

Will non-essential shops close?

Closure of non-essential shops has not been announced as part of the stricter measures. However, the 10pm curfew for leisure and entertainment venues will remain in place.

Will schools stay open?

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Schools, colleges and universities will not close under the new restrictions.

Students at university must not move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time, and should follow the same guidance on meeting other people and travel in place at their university term-time address.

Do those classed as vulnerable need to go back to shielding?

The government has not yet advised that people who are considered highly vulnerable to coronavirus should go back to shielding.

If you are clinically vulnerable you:

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- can go outside as much as you like but try to keep your overall social interactions low

- can visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops, whilst keeping two metres away from others wherever possible, or one metre plus other precautions

- should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace

How long will restrictions last?

The restrictions for West Yorkshire will be reviewed in 28 days, after which a decision will be made on either easing the rules, or keeping current measures in place. This will be dependent on the Covid infection rate in West Yorkshire.