Reopening of some Council services from 12 April
Wakefield Council has confirmed the reopening of its services, following the Prime Minister's announcement of the second phase of the roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions.
From the 12 April, the following Council services will restart:
- All libraries will reopen
- All leisure facilities will reopen
- Wakefield Council markets will open to all traders
- Pontefract Castle grounds and toilets will remain open. The shop will re-open on 13 April. The café will be serving takeaway food and drink only.
- Sandal Castle grounds will remain open. The Castle Café has now re-opened and is open 9.30 am – 2.30 pm, Friday to Monday. The café will be closed Tuesday to Thursday.
- Country parks remain open, including toilet facilities. The café at Pugneys Country Park will be serving takeaway food and drink only.
The Council can be contacted online or by calling 0345 8 506 506. Or alternatively, for:
Funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15 in venues that are permitted to open, dependent on the size of the venue.
Registrars' services remain open for appointments only to register a birth or give notice of a marriage or civil partnership. Death registration appointments will continue via telephone.
Phase 2 of the roadmap, on Monday 12 April, will see the following lifting of restrictions:
- Non-essential shops and close-contact services such as hairdressers and barbers can reopen
- Restaurants and pubs can start serving customers outdoors, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew. However, people will have to eat and drink while seated
- Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
- The number of care home visitors allowed will increase to two per resident
- All children will be able to attend any indoor children's activity, including sport. Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors
- People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise domestic travel. International holidays are still not permitted
- Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households and you must not socialise indoors with anyone you do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with
Full details of the Council's changes to services can be found on the Council's website at www.wakefield.gov.uk/coronavirus
Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health
Anna Hartley, Wakefield's Director of Public Health, said: "This is an extremely critical time as businesses start to re-open and we start to welcome people back to our city and town centres once again.
"We are doing everything we can to support local businesses to not only reopen safely but to recover from what has been a very challenging time and we will continue to offer support for as long as is needed.
"We want people and businesses to be confident to return to our high streets and enjoy our wonderful, vibrant local economy and it is everyone's responsibility to follow the social distancing guidance and to be patient and considerate of others to keep ourselves, and everyone else, safe."
The Prime Minister announced that all people in England will now be able to access twice-weekly rapid tests for coronavirus from 9 April. This is an important step forward to meet the ambitions in the Prime Minister's roadmap, and allow everyone to move forward and safely ease out of lockdown.
How to access twice-weekly rapid testing
To make it as easy as possible for everyone in Wakefield to access testing, and take up the offer of twice-weekly rapid testing, the following routes are available, depending on individual situations:
• Workplace testing: Thousands of employers are offering testing in the workplace. This includes testing sites, where employees can take a supervised test and workplace collect, where employees can pick up a box of tests to use at home. If an employer offers workplace testing, this is still the best route to access rapid tests.
• Community testing:
There are currently community test sites at:
Wakefield Market Hall (open 8.40am to 7pm, 7 days a week)
Holywell Lane Day Centre, Castleford (open 8.40am – 7pm, 7 days a week)
Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Community Centre (open Tues, Thurs and Sat mornings and Weds and Friday afternoon and evening)
For the most up-to-date information on site locations and opening hours please visit the local map: Find a test centre (test-and-trace.nhs.uk) or click here to view and book available appointments.
• NHS Test & Trace sites: These are across the country and operate as symptomatic testing sites in the morning but are currently providing an afternoon collect option, where people can pick up a box of tests to use at home.
• Pharmacy collect: Thousands of pharmacies across England have signed up to offer pharmacy collect. When launched, people will be able to go to a participating pharmacy and pick up a free box of tests to use at home. NHS England's site finder allows people to search pharmacies near them that offer pharmacy collect. Over the coming weeks more and more pharmacies will be signing up.
• Education: Secondary and college students are already being given tests to use at home twice a week, throughout term time and the holidays.
• LFD Direct: People who can't access tests through the other routes can order a box of tests online or through 119, which will be delivered to their home.
To find out more about the universal lateral flow testing offer, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/twice-weekly-rapid-testing-to-be-available-to-everyone-in-england