What are the new lockdown rules in Wakefield? All of your questions answered about the new Tier 2 restrictions in West Yorkshire

Wakefield will officially enter into a Tier Two lockdown this week, it has been confirmed. But what does this mean, and how might it affect everyday life in the district?

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 9:45 am

Wakefield Council has now confirmed that the district, alongside other areas of West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, will have a Local COVID Alert Level -of High, known as Tier Two, when the new system comes into place on Wednesday.

Find out more about what this means for the district below.

What is the current rate of infection in Wakefield?

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According to the latest date, the seven day rate of infection in the Wakefield district stands at 178.9 per 100,000.

At least 932 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the district since the start of the month, compared to just 265 in all of August.

It brings the total confirmed cases in the district to 3,979.

Councillor Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “The situation in the district is nearing such a critical stage. We all need to collectively act now to help control the rapidly increasing infection rate.

Wakefield will officially enter into a Tier Two lockdown this week, it has been confirmed. But what does this mean, and how might it affect everyday life in the district?

“I know this will be challenging for everybody and will have a huge impact on all our daily lives. But the actions we take now are vital to protecting each other and saving lives.

“If we can all play our part, the sooner we can have some restrictions lifted. If we don’t, the more restrictive the rules will become and the stark reality is that more lives will be sadly lost to this virus in our district.

“So I urge everyone to please follow these new restrictions at all times and let’s beat this virus together.”

What is a Tier 2 lockdown?

The Wakefield district will officially enter into a Tier Two lockdown this week, it has been confirmed. But what does this mean, and how might it affect everyday life in the district?

The government's new three-tier system has been designed to simplify the so-called local lockdown system.

It will see all areas of England classified as one of three categories: Tier 1, medium; Tier 2, high and Tier 3, very high.

Different rules apply to each level, but Wakefield's current infection rate means that it will be classified as Tier 2.

It is the first time local restrictions have been imposed in Wakefield, but follows several weeks of local lockdown for the rest of West Yorkshire.

Subject to the approval of Parliament, the new rules are expected to come into force on Wednesday, October 14.

The government said they would be under "constant review".

What do the new rules mean for you?

The Tier 2 rules reflect the local lockdown measures which were already in place across the rest of West Yorkshire.

As well as abiding by national rules such as the Rule of Six and 10pm hospitality curfew, those in Tier 2 areas will be banned from meeting people who are not part of their household or support bubble in indoor settings, whether in private or public spaces.

Outdoor meetings, including in private gardens, will continue to be allowed, provided that no more than six people are present.

Additionally, in line with areas which are classed as Tier 1, businesses selling food and drink will need to close between 10pm and 5am, unless this is sold through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-thru.

Schools and universities remain open, and weddings and funerals can go ahead, with restrictions on the number of attendees.

People are also encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead to avoid busy times on public transport.

At present, people in Tier 3 areas have been advised against travelling in and out of their local area, but no such restrictions have been introduced for Tier 2.

Speaking to MPs on Monday, Boris Johnson said: "The “high” alert level reflects the interventions in many local areas at the moment.

"This primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission, by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors.

"In these areas, the Rule of Six will continue to apply outdoors, where it is harder for the virus to spread, in public spaces as well as private gardens.

"Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the “high” alert level."

What should I do if I develop symptoms?

As well as the national testing system, people living in Wakefield are eligible to apply for a test under the council's local testing system.

Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms – of a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell - is urged to get a test by accessing local testing or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.

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.

The local testing service will prioritise essential workers and school children in order to keep essential services running and support schools across the district to remain open.

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.

UPDATE, Tuesday, October 13: The government has now published the full guidance for people living in High alert areas. Click here to find out more.