Police urge Leeds residents to avoid gatherings or risk fines as city put on coronavirus watchlist

Police have urged Leeds residents to avoid gatherings or risk fines - as it was confirmed the city has been put on the Public Health coronavirus watch list.

By Daniel Sheridan
Friday, 4th September 2020, 4:22 pm
Updated Friday, 4th September 2020, 4:26 pm
Police stock
Police stock

Earlier today (Aug 4), Leeds was added to Public Health England’s weekly watch list of areas of concern for COVID-19.The latest seven-day infection figures show Leeds as having a rate of 32.4 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate on testing of 3.5 per cent.

The latest data suggests that a lot of the cases are in different areas of the city, meaning they may be linked to social interaction and leisure activities.

The spread is broad and changeable across wards and cases have also been increasingly detected in younger people aged 18-34, with some concern over activities like house parties and gatherings.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

While being on the list will not mean any further restrictions on the city at this stage, it does mean increased monitoring of cases and potential additional steps in future if the city’s infection rates do not start to fall.

Superintendent Jackie Marsh, of Leeds District, said the force are 'continuing to work closely alongside partner agencies in Leeds to keep people safe from the ongoing threat to public health that Covid-19 presents'.

In a statement released on Friday she said: "We are very conscious of the current heightened focus on Leeds and the need for everyone to play their part in complying with the restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.

“We will be maintaining our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance with the restrictions in the first instance but will look to enforcement measures where necessary.

"There is a particular focus on young people as a risk group and sadly we have continued to see some unlicensed events and illegal large gatherings throughout the lockdown period and most recently over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“These present a real risk to the health of people in our communities and we have taken firm action where needed, including the use of fines and other measures.

“We know that the majority of people are complying with the necessary restrictions and we hope everyone will recognise the need to continue to do the right thing to keep themselves and their communities safe.”

People in Leeds can play their part by following the following key advice when meeting people they don’t live with:

> Only socialise indoors with members of up to two households ‒ this includes when dining out or going to the pub.

> Socialise outdoors in a group of up to six people from different households or up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household).

> Don’t hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing and avoid close social interaction.

> Only stay overnight with your household (including your support bubble) and one other household.

> Limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship

> Try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time.

A message from the Editor: Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890. We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds. Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe. For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you

Laura Collins