Leeds set to go into local lockdown tonight - and what it could mean for Sheffield

Leeds is set to face new restrictions from midnight, and London has been made an ‘area of concern’, but will Sheffield go into a local lockdown soon?

Friday, 25th September 2020, 3:18 pm

Leeds is likely to face new restrictions from midnight in the fight against Covid-19, including a ban on households mixing in private homes.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said she expected the city will be made an “area of intervention”, while the leader for public health said the restrictions could last through winter.

The addition of Leeds’ population would take the number of people living under local restrictions to more than 16.2 million people across the UK.

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Leeds will have tighter restrictions from midnight, and it is yet to be seen whether Sheffield will join the list of locations with a local lockdown.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said: “What we are trying to do is give a simple message – you shouldn’t really mix with other households.”

He said about 780,000 people will come under the new measures which could be in place through the winter.

He added: “I think we know from the experience of Leicester, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire that when these restrictions are brought in they do not tend to be lifted after a week or two.”

Leeds director of public health Victoria Eaton said the city’s virus rate was 98.5 per 100,000 people with a positive testing rate of 8.4 per cent.

She said: “The spread of the virus is very dynamic across the city.

“It’s clear to see we have very widespread community transmissions right across the city.”

Ms Eaton said there were “high rates in some of our student areas” but said cases were rising in all age groups, not just young adults.

She said compliance with self-isolation rules was still low in Leeds.

“We want to find ways to support local people to isolate.

“The expectation is the restrictions will be in place for a longer period of time, potentially right through the winter.”

Speaking at a virtual news conference, Mr Riordan said the fine details of the restrictions had not been agreed with the Government yet, but the council wanted to let people know what was likely to come in at midnight.

He said it was expected that it would become law that households should not mix inside or in the garden, and that in pubs, restaurants and in public spaces, it would be strong advice that that should not happen.

Meanwhile, London is being made an ‘area of concern’, and could also face tighter restrictions in the near future.

Now, after cases topped 100 in Sheffield for the first time since March yesterday, it remains to be seen whether Sheffield could have stricter regulations implemented.

It will be announced later today whether the city remains an ‘area of concern’ after being placed on the list and receiving ‘enhanced support’ at the same time as Leeds earlier this month.

Cases are still soaring daily in Sheffield, and a University study state that it was highly likely the city would become a hotspot for positive coronavirus cases.

In Wales, Cardiff and Swansea will go into local lockdown from 6pm on Sunday, the Welsh Government confirmed.

Under the restrictions, people will not be able to enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse.