"Don't throw caution to the wind" warns Leeds City Council as city heads into bank holiday weekend
People across Leeds are being given a reminder of the role they still play in keeping the city, themselves and others safe as lockdown restrictions start to ease and the Easter bank holiday weekend approaches.
With Leeds about to head into the Bank Holiday weekend and groups of up to six people from two households now allowed to gather outdoors, Leeds City Council is asking everyone
to remember to do all they can to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The latest data indicates that virus numbers across the city stand at 116 per 100,000, up 16 per cent in the last week. The positivity rate is now at 4.5 per cent. More than 319,000 people have also been given their first dose of the vaccine, with 93 per cent of over 50s in Leeds having have had a jab.
However, this weekend will also mark the first when clinically extremely vulnerable people are no longer advised to shield. More than 71,000 people in Leeds have been advised to shield at some point over the past year and around 90 per cent of them have received their first dose of the vaccine.
remember to restrict outdoor gatherings (including in parks and private gardens) to no more than six people or two households and maintain social distancing; keep contact with others to a minimum as much as able; carry on working from home if you can; minimise travel as much as possible avoiding busiest times and routes; wear face coverings when required and maintain social distancing whenever out; wash hands regularly; continue to follow the rules even if you’ve had the vaccine.
Coun Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health, said: “We’ve seen an incredible collective effort by the people of Leeds during this pandemic, with everyone playing their part and making their own individual sacrifices to help get us to where we are now.
“With restrictions easing and the weather improving, we know how much everyone is looking forward to enjoying the outdoors and seeing people again, but it’s absolutely vital that we don’t throw caution to the wind now and risk all we’ve achieved by putting our safety and the safety of our communities in jeopardy.
“That’s why we’re reminding everyone getting out and about to do it safely and sensibly so we can keep Leeds moving in the right direction and get through this together.”
People who have been shielding should receive a letter with updated guidance for staying safe. This will include maintaining strict social distancing and keeping overall social contacts at low levels, such as working from home where possible. Employers are also required to take steps to make workplaces COVID-19 secure for anyone unable to work from home.
Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council’s director of public health, added: “The important thing we must all remember is that while the restrictions are changing, the virus isn’t - it remains a
dangerous and highly infectious condition which we all need to take steps to control.
“Social contact is what really helps COVID-19 thrive and one third of people have no symptoms, so when you are out, try to act as though you have the virus by keeping your contact to an absolute minimum, maintaining social distancing and wearing a face covering when required.
“We know people have been through so much this past year and everyone is keen to get out and see people again but we need to do that responsibly to we can keep up the excellent
progress we’ve made and get through this together.”