The UK Government has announced that Bradford District, alongside all other West Yorkshire authorities as well as most of Yorkshire, will become a Tier 3 ‘Very High Alert Level’ area once the national restrictions imposed four weeks ago end. This means that from one minute past midnight on Wednesday 2 December, the district will be under the strictest set of restrictions. This is because of the high rate of infection, the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions and the ongoing need to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Tier 3 however is less strict than the restrictions imposed through the current national lockdown.
Until the new restrictions are in place, residents should continue to observe the national restrictions. The main differences between the national restrictions and the new Tier 3 restrictions are that under Tier 3:
- People can socialise in a group of up to 6 in some outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.
- People can attend COVID-safe places of worship but must avoid mingling.
- Non-essential retail can re-open.
The Tier 3 Very High restrictions also mean that:
- People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble. This includes in any private garden.
- People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.
- Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances. Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are restricted to 15 people. Receptions must not take place.
- Funerals must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes or linked ceremonial events before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes.
- Schools and colleges will remain open.
- People should try to avoid travelling outside their local area where possible, or entering another area rated Very High other than for work, education, accessing youth services, or to meet caring responsibilities.
- Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.
Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services. Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close, except where exemptions apply.
Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
- Museums and galleries
- Soft play areas and other indoor play areas
- Adult gaming centres, bingo halls and casinos
- betting shops
Gyms and other sport and leisure centres can open but indoor group activity and classes should not take place.
Bradford Council Leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said: “The Tier 3 restrictions that the Government has announced will apply to the Bradford District from next Wednesday (2 December). Our infection rates are going down so I welcome the opportunity of a regular review of these arrangements so that we can exit as soon as possible.
The restrictions must come with more government funding to support the many local businesses and their supply chains which have been battling on in restrictions for months now. The risk is, even with furlough, that many businesses will simply fold and cut their losses. This is particularly true of businesses in the supply chain of the leisure and hospitality sector who have not been eligible for business grants but whose customer base has been closed or restricted for long periods.
“The good news is that non-essential retail can re-open at the busiest time of the year. But Bradford and West Yorkshire are going to need significant investment going forward to support businesses and jobs. I’m already making the case to Government.
“I am also asking the Government to review the system for payments to low-paid people who must self-isolate and cannot work from home. Many are not qualifying for the standard scheme and the discretionary grants are running out.
“We’re pleased to see the rate of infection declining in the district. I thank residents across the district for working with us on this at considerable costs to themselves. But we know our hospitals are still under immense pressure so we are not out of the woods yet.
“There is a need for sustained vigilance. Overall the core messages of hands, face, space; restrict social interaction; get a test if you have symptoms; and self-isolate if asked to remain the most important. Only by following those core messages will we prevent the spread of this destructive virus.”
For more information on the new restrictions, please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know