Lets keep ‘relentless’ virus in check this weekend, say council health chiefs

Leeds City Council health chiefs have warned it is ‘more important than ever’ to stay safe from Covid-19, as the city braces itself for its first weekend with the new relaxed lockdown rules.

By Richard Beecham
Friday, 16th April 2021, 6:00 am

Non-essential shops have now reopened, while restaurants and bars are allowed to serve customers outdoors, in new rules introduced by central government earlier this week.

But, with Covid-19 still in circulation, the authority has warned people enjoying their weekend to continue to do the right thing and remain vigilant in order to keep the rates low.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “People are understandably excited to enjoy this weekend, the first of the year where lockdown restrictions are relaxed and many businesses are back open. We hope everyone has the chance to catch up with friends and family and spend time enjoying the city and the activities they are now able to do.

Leeds City Square has been largely empty for months...

“But it’s also more important than ever to remember that this relentless virus is still in circulation. Staying outdoors is much safer, as the fresh air reduces the risk of breathing in infected particles and disperses the virus more easily.

“We’re also reminding people that the full impact of the vaccine on transmission of the virus is not yet known, so it is vital that those who have received their vaccine continue to follow all of the rules.

“Everyone should remember to wear a face covering where required, keep a safe two-metre distance from others and wash or sanitise your hands regularly. By doing this, you’ll be playing your part in ensuring restrictions can continue to ease and normality can return.”

More coronavirus rules were relaxed on Monday, April 12, which included the reopening of all non-essential shops and hospitality venues, as pubs and restaurants are now allowed to serve people outside.

It’s all part of the Government’s so-called “roadmap” out of lockdown, which was announced earlier this year.

According to Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan, the Leeds case rate is now down to 60.9 per 100,000 people, while positivity rates, over-60s rates, hospitalisations and deaths are all now “lower and stable”.