Following close discussions with local leaders, all of West Yorkshire, comprising the 5 districts of Calderdale, City of Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield will move from local COVID alert level high to very high from 00.01 on Monday 2 November. This means that new measures will come into place including:
- people must not socialise with anybody they do not live or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
- people must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or outdoor sports courts or facilities
- all pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals
- people should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level or entering a very high alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey
- residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the very high alert area
In addition, following discussions with West Yorkshire leaders it was agreed that from Monday 2 November the following measures will also come into place:
- casinos, betting shops, soft play centres and areas, adult gaming centres will close; car boot sales will be prohibited
- the use of shared smoking equipment (such as but not limited to shisha) in hospitality venues will be prohibited; bars, restaurants and cafes which usually serve shared smoking equipment may otherwise continue to operate in line with the regulations on hospitality venues for ‘very high’ areas
- leisure and sporting facilities (such as leisure centres, gyms, fitness and dance studios, swimming pools, and sports courts) can remain open; it is strongly advised that indoor group exercise classes (including dance and fitness classes) should not take place
The rate of COVID-19 infections is rising rapidly across the UK. The weekly case rate in England stood at 224 people per 100,000 from 17 October to 23 October, up from 100 people per 100,000 for the week 25 September to 1 October. Cases are not evenly spread, with infection rates rising more rapidly in some areas than others.
In West Yorkshire, infection rates are among the highest in the country and continue to rise rapidly. The weekly case rate stands at 441 people per 100,000 across the region, and is 337 per 100,000 in those over 60 rising to 597 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 years old, as of 23 October.
In Bradford the current weekly case rate per 100,000 rises to 499 per 100,000, with 634 per 100,000 aged between 17 to 21.
As of Tuesday, there were 236 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, a sharp increase from 143 confirmed cases a week earlier.
To support the local community during this period, it has also been agreed with local leaders that the move to very high will be supported by funding that is proportionate to that received by other regions that have moved to very high. This will include additional funding from the contain outbreak management fund to support proactive containment and intervention measures, as well as business support funding.
The measures are limited to 28 days, after which they will be reviewed.
All available data for the areas that will move to local COVID alert level very high has been assessed by the government, including the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Public Health England (PHE), the Chief Medical Officer and the Cabinet Office. Data assessed includes incidence, test positivity and the growth rate of the virus.
It is essential these outbreaks are contained to protect lives and our NHS, and prevent greater economic damage in the future. We face a new challenge as we head into the winter, and we know that even mild cases of COVID-19 can have devastating consequences for people in all age groups, along with the risk of long COVID.
Our strategy is to suppress the virus while supporting the economy, education and the NHS, until an effective vaccine is widely available. Local action is at the centre of our response, and engagement with local authorities is, and will continue to be, a key part of this process.
Case rates per 100,000 people (data for specimens taken between 17 October 2020 and 23 October 2020):
- in Bradford, weekly case rates stand at 499 per 100,000. This is 634 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 383 per 100,000 in the over 60s
- in Calderdale, weekly case rates stand at 446 per 100,000. This is 679 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 293 per 100,000 in the over 60s
- in Wakefield, weekly case rates stand at 436 per 100,000. This is 538 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 324 per 100,000 in the over 60s
- in Leeds, weekly case rates stand at 423 per 100,000. This is 608 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 370 per 100,000 in the over 60s
- in Kirklees, weekly case rates stand at 406 per 100,000. This is 522 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 271 per 100,000 in the over 60s
On 12 October, the government introduced a new, simplified framework for local interventions based around three new local COVID alert levels.
The postcode checker shows which alert level applies in each area.
The NHS COVID-19 app will also direct people to this information.
We have provided £3.7 billion of funding to local authorities in England to respond to pressures in all their services.
The Prime Minister also announced on Monday 12 October additional COVID funding of around £1 billion which will provide local authorities with additional money to protect vital services. The government will set out further information in due course on how this new funding will be allocated.
Key NHS hospital data for West Yorkshire as of Tuesday 27 October was:
- 236 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with 19 mechanical ventilation beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients; this is increased from 143 confirmed cases and 15 mechanical beds occupied on 20 October
- 142 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, with 9 mechanical ventilation beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients; this is increased from 91 confirmed cases and 8 mechanical beds occupied on 20 October
- 109 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with 5 mechanical ventilation beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients; this is increased from 88 confirmed cases and 2 mechanical beds occupied on 20 October
- 86 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, with 4 mechanical ventilation beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients; this is increased from 50 confirmed cases (number of mechanical beds unchanged)