Calderdale tier 3 restrictions: Leader gives update on borough possibly being placed into highest alert tier
Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift is among those urging the Government to ‘take time’ to see if current COVID-19 restrictions are working before they consider raising West Yorkshire into tougher Tier 3 measures.
Since late last week there has been speculation that the Government is looking to put West Yorkshire authorities including Calderdale into the highest Tier 3 – very high – level, which brings with it extra restrictions including pubs and bars only allowed to remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals.
At the moment the authorities including in Calderdale remain in Tier 2 – high level.
Key to the measures having a higher measure of success would be extra support for the local track and trace system, said Coun Swift.
Coun Swift said West Yorkshire’s council leaders were not now expecting a meeting today (Tuesday, October 20) and did not know when further meetings to discuss the position the region might be proposed.
They had set out their case and urged the Government to allow some time to see if the Tier 2 restrictions were working.
Coun Swift said expanding local contact trace and support was the likely means by which they would.
“We’ve made the case strongly that we need more time to demonstrate whether or not the current restrictions, combined with an increasing focus on local contact and community support, will help to keep the infection levels under control.
“We have also asked Government for more support on this, and in particular to expand the scope of local contact tracing and support so that we can reach people who need to self isolate more quickly and talk to them about the help they need to do it,” he said.
Coun Swift (Lab, Town) said people should continue to heed public health messaging as these would help keep infection rates down and reduce the risk of authorities in the region being put into the higher Tier 3.
“Council leaders across West Yorkshire are agreed that the main priority has to be to encourage everyone to keep observing the key public health messages – minimise contact with people from other households; wear face masks whenever in close contact; keep washing hands – and encouraging anyone who has symptoms or is contacted by Test and trace to protect their friends and neighbours by following the rules on self isolating.
“These are the main things that will help to reduce the infection rate and hence limit the risks of tougher restrictions being imposed,” said Coun Swift.
The council’s Liberal Democrat group leader Coun James Baker (Lib Dem, Warley) is one of the so-signees of a letter sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson by the Northern Liberal Network.
The network’s letter, signed by Liberal Democrat peers, MPs and council leaders, calls for ““urgent action”” to support people, communities and businesses across the North.
And they want local leaders involved to drive the response to Covid-19 at a local level.
They have called for funding for local test and trace, support for those who cannot work whilst self-isolating, an extension of the furlough scheme to June 2021, protection for people living in care and support schoolchildren and university students.