West Yorkshire Combined Authority react to news region will not enter Tier 3

West Yorkshire Combined Authority said they are "frustrated and angry" about the government's timing, handling and communications - after it emerged West Yorkshire will not enter Tier 3 as planned.

The authority work in partnership with local councils and businesses to ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy.

Following the announcement that West Yorkshire would follow the national lockdown on Thursday, the authority said there was "understandable confusion".

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They said businesses had only just begun to prepare for Tier 3 measures to hit on Monday before finding out they would need to change their plans once again.

WYCA called on the government to honour their financial commitments to the people of West Yorkshire.

The full statement from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority read: "Following several days of intense discussions with Ministers about the introduction of new restrictions in West Yorkshire, we are frustrated and angry about the government’s timing, handling and communications around the plans for a national lockdown.

"​Firstly, for our residents and businesses, we must clear up understandable confusion: the region will now NOT be moving into Tier Three (Very High) measures on Monday as planned; we will remain in Tier Two (High) restrictions, and then follow the national measures from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December.

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"The residents and businesses of West Yorkshire had only just begun to prepare for Tier Three measures to hit on Monday, and they are now having to change their plans once again.

"We have worked hard over the last few days to advocate for the people and businesses of West Yorkshire. It is imperative that Government now honours the financial commitments made to the people and businesses of the region during these discussions in writing again now.

"We received verbal assurances this evening that support packages will be provided, but await written confirmation from Government.

"We remain extremely concerned about the rising infection rates in the region.

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"The urgency for people to restrict their social interactions is still as real as it was when Tier 3 was announced last week.

"Our hospitals are under tremendous strain and we would collectively implore everyone to follow the regulations, stay apart, wash your hands and wear your face covering.

"We must now pull together, comply with the rules and take every action we can to face this challenge as a community and as a nation. We have to do this to beat this virus."

Ministers were told that the incidence rate for coronavirus was growing and that the NHS was under increasing pressure, with an average of one in 100 people having Covid-19.

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On the current trajectory Government scientists on the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) have assessed the NHS will reach its fixed and surge bed capacity during the first week in December, even after elective procedures are cancelled.

They said the growth in the virus is now national, and although worse in the North, it was spreading everywhere.

Under the measures announced tonight people can only leave home for specific reasons including for education, work if they cannot work from home, for exercise and recreation outdoors, for medical reasons, to escape injury or harm, to shop for food and essentials and to provide care for vulnerable people.

Schools, colleges, and universities are to remain open.

While individuals can also meet with one other person at a social distance in somewhere such as a park, but only if both people are solo.

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And it is being urged that workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home, for example in construction and manufacturing, however non-essential shops and leisure venues will all be closed, as will pubs, bars and restaurants.

Takeaway services and click and collect can continue, and support bubbles will remain intact.

And furlough will return at up to 80 per cent of pay for the duration of the national measures.

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