Wakefield Council statement on national COVID-19 measures announced by the Prime Minister

This evening (Saturday 31 October) the Prime Minister has announced that England will be placed into tougher national measures from Thursday 5 November until 2 December.  Further to that announcement, the Government have now confirmed that Wakefield, along with the rest of West Yorkshire, will no longer enter Tier 3 on Monday, and will instead remain in Tier 2 until the national restrictions come into effect. 

The national measures are being brought in to reduce day-to-day contact between people in a bid to reduce the growing rates of infection across England and avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed.

The restrictions will mean that:

  • All non-essential retail will close, including pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues and leisure facilities except for takeaways.
  • People will only be able to leave their home for specific reasons including work, essential shopping, exercise and in case of emergencies. 
  • Other businesses including building and manufacturing can remain open provided they follow Government guidance.  
  • Early years, schools and further and higher education will remain open.
  • There will be further restrictions on household mixing
  • Vulnerable people are asked to minimise their contact with others

Despite the national measures being introduced, the Prime Minister was clear that the NHS remain open for businesses and urged people to attend appointments, seek help and collect treatment unless advised differently by their clinician.  

Details of the new measures will be published by the Government on Monday and will be subject to a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday.  As soon as the details are published and reviewed, an update on how they affect the Wakefield District and the services provided by Wakefield Council will be issued. 

Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Denise Jeffery said: 

“After the announcement only a couple of days ago, that Wakefield, along with the rest of West Yorkshire, was to be put into Tier 3 restrictions, we have this evening received confirmation that we will remain in Tier 2 until the new national measures are introduced on 5 November. 

“We were assured, during the negotiations with Government, that national restrictions were not being brought in, so I share the frustration of local residents and businesses alike that will now be feeling confused. 

“Those frustrations aside, the situation in Wakefield remains critical due to the sharp rise in cases and the significant pressure our health system is now under. I am again urging everyone to play their part in doing all they can to reduce the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and protect one another. 

“It is absolutely essential that you reduce your contact with others as much as possible, continue to wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and maintain social distancing with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.”

Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms – of a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell - is urged to get a test by accessing local testing or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.

The local testing service is available from Monday to Friday and bookings for appointments can be made at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 01924 224497. Or email the person's name and contact details to wakefield.covidtesting@nhs.net so the booking team can get in touch.

The local testing service will prioritise essential workers and school children in order to keep essential services running and support schools across the district to remain open.

Those without symptoms (asymptomatic) should not be seeking a test unless they have been advised to do so by a health professional, Public Health England or the Council's public health teams – it could take a test away from someone who really needs it.

Details of the Tier 2 restrictions, along with advice and guidance for residents and businesses can be found on the council website at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.