West Yorkshire Leaders statement on region entering tier three COVID-19 restrictions

The Leaders of West Yorkshire Councils have issued the following statement in response to the region being place in tier three COVID-19 restrictions:

We are playing our full part to reduce rates of transmission and accelerate our recovery and will continue to work constructively with Government so that we can leave tier three as quickly as possible with the social and economic benefits that would bring.

It is vital everyone in West Yorkshire does the right things by avoiding mixing with anyone outside of their household or bubble, wearing a face mask, and isolating immediately if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or are asked to isolate by track and trace.

It is essential that as our region moves into tier three, the right support is available for our communities so we can continue the progress we have made in cutting COVID-19 cases and protecting jobs and business. We will continue to press the Government to address gaps in business support, particularly those affected by restrictions but not directed to close. The Additional Restrictions Grant given to areas moving into tier three will run out once demand from national lockdown is met and, with no further discretionary funding available, otherwise viable businesses could be forced to close for good. Our West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Plan has the potential to create 70,000 jobs with the right funding.

We know that people self-isolating are finding it hard to access the financial support that should be available quickly and easily and that applications are exceeding expected demand.

We have demonstrated the impact effective local contact tracing can have on infection rates and could do even more if the £8 per head currently available to support this work was increased, if there was a joint action plan to better integrate local and national elements and with the timely testing and transfer of national data.

We are asking the Government to work with us to urgently address these issues so we can protect the health, jobs and incomes of our communities and, with the hope offered by emerging vaccines, be in the best position possible to recovery quickly from the impact of this pandemic.