Wakefield in Tier 3: The new rules and guidance for West Yorkshire as new restrictions introduced across Pontefract, Castleford and more
The Wakefield district will officially enter into Tier 3 lockdown on Monday, it has been confirmed - these are all the new rules and restrictions that will be in place.
The announcement was made earlier today by Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake.
But what does this mean for Wakefield, and how will things change?
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 26: Please note that this page refers to restrictions which were due to be introduced in November and were ultimately replaced by a second national lockdown. For the Tier 3 restrictions which will come into place on December 2, 2020, please click here.
This is everything you need to know about Covid Alert Level Very High (Tier 3) in West Yorkshire.
What is the current rate of infection in Wakefield?
The rate of cases in the district has risen to 401 per 100,000, almost double the UK average of 208 per 100,000.
More than 4,100 new cases have been confirmed in the district since the start of the month, bringing the total to 7,223.
According to Wakefield Council's weekly briefing, which covers the seven days up to Tuesday, October 20, new cases have been confirmed in all 21 of the district's wards, with the most new cases in Hemsworth, South Elmsall and South Kirkby, Featherstone and Ackworth.
The ward with the lowest number of new cases was Wakefield North, where 35 new cases were confirmed.
What are the rules under Tier 3 and how are these different than Tier 2?
Wakefield has been classified as a High Alert area since the system was introduced earlier this month, but will now be upgraded to a Very High Alert, known as Tier 3.
All rules from Tier 2 still apply, with some additional restrictions in place.
Like Tier 2, you are not allowed to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting, unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
However, Tier 3 also forbids meeting people outside your household in a private garden or most outdoor public venues.
You may meet in groups of up to six in public outdoor spaces including parks, beaches, countryside, forest, public gardens and allotments, outdoor sports courts and playgrounds, but not in private gardens.
The Rule of Six continues to apply, and people must not meet in groups of more than six, including children. Fines of up to £6,400 may be handed out to those found to be in breach of these rules.
Social distancing rules continue to apply, and people are encouraged to limit the number of people they see socially over a short period of time.
Can I still go to the pub? What about the gym?
Pubs, restaurants and takeaways will still be subject to the 10pm curfew, and required to close to all customers by this time unless they are ordering for delivery, drive-through or takeaway.
But pubs and bars can only remain open if they "operate as if they were a restaurant" - meaning they can only serve alcohol if it comes with a substantial meal.
Staff and customers should also wear masks when they are not seated at a table, and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
You should only attend leisure venues with people in your household or social bubble, and at least one member of each group should provide their contact details to the venue or check in using the NHS Covid-19 app.
Additional restrictions may be introduced in West Yorkshire if these are deemed necessary - check back to this page for the latest updates throughout the week.
Certain other venues, including casinos, soft play areas, adult gaming centres, betting shops and car boot sales, will also need to close.
Gyms may open, but guidance is against indoor exercise classes taking place.
Am I allowed to travel to work and school?
The government advises that anyone who can "work effectively from home" should plan to do so through the winter.
But anyone who cannot work from home, including public sector employees working in services such as education, should continue to go to work where necessary.
As well as workplace guidance on remaining Covid-secure, people are encouraged to avoid public transport where possible, or plan to travel at off-peak times.
If your home and place of work fall into different Covid alert levels, you are allowed to travel between these as necessary.
Similar rules apply for travelling in or out of an area for caring responsibilities.
But the government advises against travelling in or our of a Tier 3 area wherever possible, to help manage to risk of transmission.
You should not stay overnight in any other area, including in a second home, and people outside the area should not stay overnight within West Yorkshire.
How can I get childcare?
Similar to Tier 2, exceptions to the rules apply for certain childcare settings.
Schools will continue to be open, and supervised activities including breakfast clubs, youth groups and playgroups can go ahead.
Childminders, after-school clubs and nannies can continue to work as normal.
You can also form a childcare bubble if necessary, meaning someone from another household can provide informal childcare to a child aged 13 or under.
This bubble should always be between the same two households, and should be used only for the purposes of providing childcare.
Are there exceptions to these rules?
Exceptions to the rules apply, and people may gather in groups of more than six if they meet certain criteria.
This includes: meeting those in your support bubble; for work or volunteering purposes; for registered childcare, education or training; to allow contact between parents and children in care; for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both of their parents; to see someone who is dying or to facilitate a house move.
Weddings may go ahead in registered venues where social distancing measures are in place, but no more than 15 people may attend, and no part of the wedding or reception should be held in a private dwelling.
Up to 30 people may attend funerals, and wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people, but should not be held at private dwellings.
Exceptions also apply for elite sportspeople and their coaches, outdoor exercise and dance classes, indoor organised sport for disables people, educational purposes or under-18s and support groups of up to 15 people.
Social distancing guidelines should be followed at all times during permitted events.
How can I get a test?
Anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 - a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change to their sense of taste or smell - should request a test and stay home.
Visit gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test to book a test today.
A local testing offer has opened in Wakefield, to work alongside and to enhance the national programme.
Residents in the district who suspect they have symptoms of the virus can now access tests via a home delivery service but people are urged to try the national system first.
Those without symptoms (asymptomatic) should not be seeking a test unless they have been advised to do so by a health professional, Public Health England or the council's public health teams – it could take a test away from someone who really needs it.
The local testing service is available from Monday to Friday and bookings for appointments can be made at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 01924 224497. Or email the person's name and contact details to [email protected] so the booking team can get in touch.
Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms is urged to get a test by accessing local testing or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.