Leeds City Council have put out an urgent message asking people in the city to maintain social distancing, as lockdown restrictions were tightened elsewhere in the region.
Health secretary Matt Hancock took to Twitter on Thursday evening (July 30) to announce that Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale would be put under a “local lockdown” effective from midnight.
This would prohibit people from being able to visit households other than their own.
Although Leeds was not placed under lockdown, it would effect many people planning to visit friends and family elsewhere in the region.
‘Take extra care and stay safe’
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “Given the proximity of Leeds to the affected neighbouring areas, we would urge everyone to stay safe, keep social distance from others and get a test if you have symptoms.
“The changes to restrictions in parts of West Yorkshire announced by the government yesterday do not include Leeds and there are currently no changes to the guidance for those living and working in the city.
“However, we would urge anyone travelling in and around West Yorkshire to take extra care and stay safe by keeping up-to-date with the latest information and advice at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus ”.
Many criticised the last minute move to lockdown online, both for its short notice, and for its timing, taking place on the day before the Muslim celebration of Eid when families had made plans to celebrate together.
However, Matt Hancock told the BBC’s Today programme that this was not the government’s intention.
He said: “No, my heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas because I know how important the Eid celebrations are.
“I’m very grateful to the local Muslim leaders, the imams in fact, across the country who’ve been working so hard to find a way to have Covid-secure celebrations.
“For instance celebrating Eid in parks where there’s more space available and of course outdoors is safer than indoors.”