NEWS ROUNDUP: Leeds lockdown measures and voting registration reminder
West Yorkshire Prepared, the region’s Local Resilience Forum, is asking everyone to remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines as retail and other services reopen.
The five Local Authorities, together with businesses in the region, have been working hard to ensure our towns and high streets are Covid-secure and ready to welcome people back.
Robin Tuddenham, co-Chair of West Yorkshire Prepared and Chief Executive of Calderdale Council, said: “Many people have been looking forward to this day for some time, but we must remember we are at a really critical stage in the pandemic. As more restrictions lift, more people will come into contact with each other, increasing the risk of the infection spreading.
“That’s not to say this isn’t something to be celebrated – we have come a long way in the last few months with the vast majority of people following the rules and working extremely hard to reduce the rates of infection and hospitalisations. But we need to urge caution and remember we are still in the early stages of a long recovery.”
Some of the services that can now reopen include:
- Non-essential retail, hairdressers and nail salons
- Council buildings, such as libraries and community centres
- Outdoor hospitality venues and most outdoor attractions (e.g. zoos, theme parks, etc)
- Indoor leisure and sports facilities for individual exercise or exercise with your household/support bubble.
Outdoor gatherings will continue to be limited to six people or two households, and you must not socialise indoors with anyone not in your household or support bubble. Travelshould continue to be minimised where possible.
In preparing for reopening, some actions taken by Local Authorities include:
- Encouraging workplaces to sign up for Lateral Flow testing, enabling asymptomatic workers to take regular tests. See www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests (businesses have until 12 April to register).
- Ensuring businesses have the appropriate safety certificates and licences in place (e.g. Food hygiene Certificate, Outdoor Seating Licence).
- Ensuring all relevant businesses and venues have test and trace systems set up.
- Asking people to think about their journeys if heading into town centres – if using public transport, plan ahead and try to avoid busy times.
- Having City Centre Ambassador’s on hand to help, support and guide shoppers and visitors on their return.
Robin added: “Infection rates in West Yorkshire remain some of the highest in the UK. If we want to see the remainder of the roadmap go ahead as indicated, we must continue to do all we can to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and keep each other safe. The simplest way of doing this is to continue washing your hands, wear a face covering where required and keep your distance from others not in your household.”
For full details on the change of rules, please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#how-the-rules-will-change-on-12-april.
Leeds residents are being reminded not to lose their chance to vote as registration and postal deadlines approach.
The deadline for registering to vote is midnight Monday 19 April while the deadline for postal voting is 5pm the next day on Tuesday 20 April.
Over 200,000 residents have chosen to vote by post. Those using polling stations are being asked to wear a mask and comply with other safety and social distancing measures. It is anticipated that only limited numbers will be permitted inside polling stations at any one time, which may mean queues are likely.
To find out more and to register online www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you’re already registered you don’t need to apply again.
All the information needed is available online at www.leeds.gov.uk/elections, anyone needing further help can call the Leeds City Council elections helpline on 0113 222 4411 (open 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri only) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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