Government must make rules and restrictions crystal clear as Leeds Covid-19 cases rise - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

It certainly is beginning to feel like a roller coaster ride now.
Visitors to Leeds City Centre.Visitors to Leeds City Centre.
Visitors to Leeds City Centre.

Parts of West Yorkshire look set to be plunged back into lockdown again from tomorrow.

Those areas initially lifted from the local lockdowns in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale will now be placed back under strict measures which will see all households banned from meeting each other at home or in private gardens.

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Some communities in West Yorkshire haven’t even been lifted from lockdown as the sweeping measures come into force tomorrow once again.

And for those who were taken out of the restrictions it will be bittersweet, as they are once again parted from their families and friends.

But again the rules are completely crystal clear aren’t they? Don’t worry: you can’t see your parents but you can still get your hair cut, nails painted or go for a drink in the pub?

Public safety is an absolute priority and it is incumbent on each of us to play our part - but we can’t afford to have any grey areas when it comes to following the rules.

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Leeds had an infection rate of 83.1 new cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to September 17, up from 76 in the previous week, as concerted efforts to bring the rate of infection down are being intensified.

City leaders have called for each of us to do everything we can to help stop the spread of the virus as Leeds will be reconsidered for stricter rules later this week.

It comes as the Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned yesterday that Britain was at a “tipping point” as he refused to rule out a second national coronavirus lockdown if the public fails to follow social distancing rules.

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With cases rising across the country, Mr Hancock said there was a danger the numbers could “shoot through the roof” unless effective action was taken to halt the spread of the virus.

The Health Secretary said that hospital admissions for the disease were doubling “every eight days” and would be followed by an increase in the number of deaths.

Among the measures being considered by ministers is a temporary two-week “circuit break” with tighter restrictions across England in an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

The stark warning comes after the Government announced anyone in England who refuses an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000. But it poses the question of who will be policing this, especially with the myriad of issues around the Test and Trace scheme?

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Ultimately, the overall responsibility is a moral one that rests with each of us to do the right thing and follow the rules set out on safe distancing, the Rule of Six and isolating.

It’s not just about our own safety but for those around us: be they our loved ones or complete strangers.

Nobody wants this merry-go-round ride to last any longer as the pandemic continues to cast a shadow on society.

We all need to take care of our city and each other together.

A message from the Editor:

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