Covid-19: Leeds household mixing ban expected to be announced


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image captionLeeds was added to Public Health England’s list as an “area of concern” at the beginning of September

Households in Leeds are expected to be banned from meeting in private homes or gardens in a bid to slow rising Covid-19 rates, the city’s council said.

The measure will begin at midnight and would bring the city in line with rules in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale, said council leader Judith Blake.

A government announcement on the city restrictions is expected later.

The council said Thursday saw a “steep rise” in cases in the city, with the rate at 98.5 per 100,000 people.

The move will impact 780,000 people who live in the city but some exemptions are expected, including for those with caring responsibilities.

Residents in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale are currently strongly advised not to socialise with people outside of indoor public venues.

The council said the measures for Leeds were expected to match those areas, with the national “rule of six'” and 22:00 venue curfew continuing alongside.

‘Safety comes first’

Councillors asked the government to allow households to meet in private gardens, but this request was rejected.

Ms Blake said the duration of the new measures “will depend on everyone playing their part”.

“We are acutely aware that nobody wants to see further restrictions placed on life in Leeds and alongside our partners we have been doing absolutely everything within our power to avoid that,” she said.

“But the safety of the city and the public simply has to come first and we have now reached a point where we all need to take additional steps to contain the spread of this terrible virus within our communities.”

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