West and South Yorkshire latest local lockdown rules: Leeds and Sheffield currently in Tier 2

Telegraph reporters
·4-min read
Leeds, Sheffield, West and South Yorkshire are under local lockdown restrictions
Leeds, Sheffield, West and South Yorkshire are under local lockdown restrictions
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

West Yorkshire and Leeds have been placed under Tier 2 restrictions, alongside South Yorkshire.

The areas affected include Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield, and in South Yorkshire, areas affected include Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield.

However the Government's Joint Biosecurity Centre had reportedly recommended most of the North West and North East of England, as well as parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands, should be moved into Tier 3.

Meanwhile, Victoria Eaton, Leeds director of public health, said hospitals in the city are "very close" to having to strip back non-Covid services, and areas may struggle for staff to fill Nightingale hospitals put on standby.

Ms Eaton said hospitals wanted to clear their backlog of work and deal with delayed treatments and procedures.

"We've got a huge backlog now of people who desperately need surgery and treatment for their conditions, which colleagues in the NHS are absolutely committed to continue with, and therefore it gives them very little wriggle room within the hospital to accommodate all of those cases plus the new Covid ones that are now coming in."

What is the three-tier system?

Local lockdowns are automatically triggered by a three-tier Covid alert level system, which divides the country into different areas based on local infection rates, which dictates the severity of local lockdowns.

It works alongside the NHS Test and Trace app, where people scan a special QR code to enter and exit pubs, restaurants and bars. The app sends a message to the user about lockdown conditions when the coronavirus risk profile changes.

In England, there are currently zero areas in the UK that are considered low risk by the new app.

Three-tier Covid lockdown map
Three-tier Covid lockdown map

England has been divided into one of three tiers, each of which will have predetermined restrictions.

Tier one, or medium alert level, covers most of the country and consists of the current national measures, such as the rule of six and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.

Tier two, or high alert level, bans households or support bubbles from meeting each other indoors. However separate households can meet outdoors and in public gardens providing that the rule of six is followed.

Tier three, or very high alert level, bans social mixing indoors and in private gardens altogether, and bars and pubs will be closed as a baseline. However, the Government decides with local authorities on whether further measures, including further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment and personal care sectors. Retail, schools and universities will still remain open in these areas.

The coronavirus three-tier system explained
The coronavirus three-tier system explained

Can I travel in the lockdown areas?

You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, the Government advises you to:

Share the transport with the same people each time. Keep to small groups of people at any one time Open windows for ventilation Travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them. Face away from each other. Consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle. Clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch. Ask the driver and passengers to wear a face mask.

Can I visit my family in one of the lockdown areas?

If you are in a Tier 2, or high alert, area, then you cannot meet other households in any indoor setting. However, you can meet other households outdoors and in private gardens providing that the rule of six is followed.

People living in the Tier 3 lockdown zones must not meet anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The “Rule of Six” applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches

Should I shield?

Millions of people who shielded during first lockdown will not be told to stay home this time, as health officials admit policy caused “harm” and “left people feeling imprisoned”.

But more than 2 million people who are considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” will be told to take practical steps to reduce exposure to the virus - such as only meeting others outdoors if possible. 

Read more: Covid shielding: The latest government advice for vulnerable people, explained

Coronavirus podcast - Will the three-tier system work?
Coronavirus podcast - Will the three-tier system work?