Households in Leeds are expected to be banned from meeting in private homes or gardens in a bid to slow rising Covid-19 rates, the city’s council said.
The measure will begin at midnight and would bring the city in line with rules in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale, said council leader Judith Blake.
A government announcement on the city restrictions is expected later.
The council said Thursday saw a “steep rise” in infections in Leeds, with the rate at 98.5 per 100,000 people.
The move will impact 780,000 people who live in the city but some exemptions are expected, including for those with caring responsibilities.
‘Safety comes first’
Residents in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale are currently strongly advised not to socialise with people outside of indoor public venues.
The council said the measures for Leeds were expected to match those areas, with the national “rule of six'” and 22:00 venue curfew continuing alongside.
Councillors asked the government to allow households to meet in private gardens, but this request was rejected.
Ms Blake said the duration of the new measures “will depend on everyone playing their part”.
“We are acutely aware that nobody wants to see further restrictions placed on life in Leeds and alongside our partners we have been doing absolutely everything within our power to avoid that,” she said.
“But the safety of the city and the public simply has to come first and we have now reached a point where we all need to take additional steps to contain the spread of this terrible virus within our communities.”
Victoria Eaton, the city’s director of public health, said there was “very widespread community transmissions right across the city”, with compliance with self-isolation rules still low.
“The expectation is the restrictions will be in place for a longer period of time, potentially right through the winter,” she said.
Expected rules for Leeds
- Not to meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble
- Not to visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of Leeds, unless they are in your support bubble
- You are advised not to socialise with people you do not live with in any public venue in Leeds or elsewhere
- Examples of these include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure or entertainment venues, visitor attractions and parks
- Friends and family can still provide informal childcare for children under 14
- You are advised not to visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances
- Exemptions to the home and garden rule include visiting a person who is dying, to fulfil a legal obligation, for work purposes, for the provision of voluntary or charitable services, for the purposes of education or training, to provide emergency assistance, to facilitate a house move, to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person and to attend a birth at the mother’s request
Source: Leeds City Council