What Tier is Wakefield in? Your questions answered on childcare, weddings, shops reopening and more as new rules come into place across West Yorkshire

Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford will be among large amounts of Yorkshire to enter into Tier 3 restrictions following the end of the national lockdown next month.

By Holly Gittins
Monday, 30th November 2020, 9:27 am

The Wakefield district, along with the rest of West Yorkshire, will be subject to the highest level of restrictions, known as Tier 3: Very High.

The new tiers, which were confirmed by the government this morning, will come into place on Wednesday, December 2, when the second national lockdown comes to an end.

Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford will be among large amounts of Yorkshire to enter into Tier 3 restrictions following the end of the national lockdown next month. This is everything you need to know about the new rules.

The government described them as a "strengthened" version of the original tier system, which was introduced earlier this year.

Tier 3, known as the Very High alert level, will be introduced across the Wakefield district, including the Five Towns.

What is the current rate of infection in Wakefield?

To date, there have been 13,179 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Wakefield district, up from 8,349 at the start of the month.

According to NHS figures, the rate of cases is currently 275 per 100,000.

This marks a decline from 463 per 100,000 on November 18, but remains higher than the national rate of 168 per 100,000.

In a statement on Monday, Wakefield Council said there were 300 Covid-19 patients being cared for at hospitals run by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, compared to 324 the week before.

To date, 545 people have died at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19.

What are the rules for Tier 3?

As across all tiers, people in Wakefield will need to wear a face covering in most indoor settings, unless they are exempt.

People can attend school or college as normal, unless they are self-isolating, but those in work are encouraged to work from home if they can do so.

Anyone who needs to travel to work should do so, but people are urged to walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead to avoid peak times on public transport.

Under Tier 3 rules, people in Wakefield will not be allowed to meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places, including private gardens, with people who are not part of their household or support bubble.

In areas where people are allowed to meet socially, including parks, beaches and sports facilities, the rule of six remains in place.

Hospitality venues, such as bars, pubs and restaurants, will remain closed, though will be permitted to continue takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there.

Will the shops reopen before Christmas?

In Wakefield, as in the rest of the country, all retail will be allowed to re-open following the end of the lockdown.

From December 2, essential and non-essential shops, including markets and car boot sales, will be allowed to reopen, providing that they take steps such as enforcing the wearing of masks and social distancing.

Personal care and close contact services, such as hairdressers, beauty salons, nail salons and tanning salons will also be allowed to reopen.

Leisure and sporting facilities including gyms, leisure centres and fitness studios can reopen, though in Tier 3 they will not be allowed to host indoor group activities or classes.

Can I still go to the cinema or stay in a hotel?

Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.

Indoor entertainment and tourist venues, including play areas, trampoline parks, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, cinemas and theatres, must close.

And indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also remain closed, though indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such venues can remain open.

Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes including fitness and dance should not go ahead.

Members of the public should not attend spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place, though elite sporting events can go ahead without spectators.

Large outdoor events, such as concerts, will not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.

Can I visit family in a care home?

The government advises that care home visits can still go ahead, provided that arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods or window visits are in place.

It is expected that regular Covid-19 testing will be offered to up to two family members or friends per resident by Christmas, which is expected to support indoor visits with physical contact visits.

What are the rules on weddings and funerals?

Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees

Up to 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies in Tier 3, but no wedding receptions are allowed.

Up to 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes.

Are there exceptions in place?

Exceptions to the rules continue to apply to those who are part of a single household or have formed a support bubble with another household.

There are also exceptions for childcare, education and training, formal support groups, to allowed contact between parents and children in care or children who do not live with both their parents.

People are allowed to visit those who are terminally ill or at the end of their life, or to provide emergency assistance, avoid injury or escape a risk of harm.

Attending court, jury service and providing voluntary and charitable services are also exceptions to the rules.

Alternative rules will be in place for five days over the Christmas period, allowing people to form separate bubbles with up to three households.