Coronavirus: Tier 2 restrictions in Yorkshire explained

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Image source, LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images
Image caption, West Yorkshire and York have been placed under tier two - high alert restrictions

Restrictions have been introduced in West Yorkshire and York after both were placed into the "high" category on the Covid-19 three-tier scale.

Almost 2.6m people across the six council districts placed in the second tier are subject to restrictions.

Tighter restrictions were initially in place in Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale for several weeks, but rules also now apply in Wakefield and York.

The East Riding of Yorkshire and the rest of North Yorkshire have been placed in the "medium" Covid alert level or first tier and will continue under existing national restrictions.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption, The restrictions apply to about 2.6m people in West Yorkshire and York

What are the rules for West Yorkshire and York?

For people living in West Yorkshire and York socialising between households in any indoor setting, including homes, pubs and restaurants, will be against the law.

People are only allowed to mix indoors with their own households or support bubbles.

In other words, you can't go into your friend or relative's house - and you can't arrange to go for a drink or meal indoors with someone you don't live with.

This also applies if you travel outside of the affected areas. Schools and workplaces are not affected.

For those people in Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale the restrictions have been relaxed slightly from their previous incarnation as people in tier two areas are able to meet other households in their gardens.

Under the rules those affected can now meet in groups of up to six from different households anywhere outside, including in private gardens, parks, and outdoor hospitality areas such as beer gardens.

Am I in an affected area?

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What are the penalties if I break the new law?

Anyone found to be breaking the rules could be dispersed by police.

Those aged over 18 can be fined and could face a £200 bill for their first offence, which would be halved if paid within 14 days.

Second offences would incur a £400 fine, which would then double for each subsequent offence up to a maximum of £6,400.

Businesses breaking the rules can be fined up to £10,000.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption, Under the rules those affected can now meet in groups of up to six from different households anywhere outside

Why can I visit the pub but not my parents' or friends' house?

The rules say the hospitality industry has enhanced measures, such as risk assessments, one-way systems and mandatory taking of personal details for testing and tracing, which private homes do not have.

In addition, they have to close between 22:00 and 05:00 and only offer table service for food and drinks.

Who can meet indoors?

Official support groups set up to help people can still meet, including ones helping victims of crime (including domestic abuse), people with addictions, new parents, people caring for others, sexuality and identity support groups, and people who have suffered bereavement.

Can I go to work?

Current government guidance states you should work at home if possible.

If you cannot do this, you can return to your workplace but your employer must make arrangements for you to work safely.

Can family or friends look after my children?

Yes, but there are some caveats. Childcare bubbles will be able to form to allow families to share caring responsibilities with another household, as long as it is only between those two households.

This includes formal and informal arrangements, and at least one child must be 13 or under.

People in support bubbles in these areas can also continue to meet in any setting.

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between homes.

Can weddings and funerals still take place in West Yorkshire and York?

Yes. The national guidance still stands, so there are 15 people allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, and 30 people allowed at funerals.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption, No-one knows when restrictions will end but they are to be reviewed regularly by the government

Can I use public transport?

Yes, but the government wants people to reduce the number of journeys they make.

If people need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes.

Can I pick up someone that I don't live with in my car?

The government's advice remains that you should try not to share a vehicle with those outside of your household or support bubble, but if you do need to, open the windows, wear masks and try to share with the same people.

Can I go on holiday in or outside West Yorkshire and York?

The exception are tier three - very high alert areas which people are urged not to visit.

If you go abroad, be aware of the self-isolation rules involving certain countries and local advice.

Am I allowed to have tradespeople in my house?

Yes. Registered tradespeople can go to work in homes as long as they follow guidance on how to work safely, including social distancing, hand washing and potentially using screens.

Can grassroots sports continue?

Yes, but only outside. Disability sport can be held indoors though.

When will the restrictions be lifted?

No-one knows. Health Secretary Matt Hancock must review the areas covered by the rules every 14 days, and the restrictions themselves must be reviewed every 28 days.

The law expires after six months, unless a further order is made.

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