By KLTV Newsdesk
Government has announced that a new national lockdown will come into place for the whole country.
From midnight on 4 January, all areas in England will go into lockdown.
The restricitions are set in place for a minimum of six weeks.
The lockdown rules mean:
- You should only leave home for essential purposes (including exercise)
- Schools and colleges will close for all pupils except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. Pupils will move to remote learning.
- Non-essential retail will close
- If you are clinically vulnerable you should shield
Non-essential shops are to close, alongside outdoor gyms, golf courses and tennis courts.
Certain places such as Garden Centres, Places of Worship, and Dentists will be permitted to remain open.
The lockdown will be similar in scope and scale to the first one from last March.
‘Serious point in this crisis’
Speaking on the announcement, Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “In Kirklees, we currently have one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the country, but the risks posed by the new variant spreading a lot faster are significant for the whole country and they demand a national response.
“Looking at other parts of the country, we’ve seen just how quickly this virus can spread. It’s clear that we are at a very serious point in this crisis.
“There’s a real risk that we could face much higher numbers of people needing hospital treatment and extra pressure on our health system which will cost lives. We have to protect our NHS and people’s lives.
“I will continue to work with the Government and urge them to provide the resources we need to ensure our business, communities and residents are not adversely affected by these new restrictions.
“This means asking for loss of income and more support for businesses – this has to be a priority.
“I know how difficult this news is for us all to hear. Residents and businesses in Kirklees have already made so many sacrifices in our fight against this virus.
“But there is hope. The vaccine is now being rolled out and we can look to the future with optimism. But right now, it’s crucial that we all play our part by following this guidance and protecting our families and our community.
“The basics that will make a big difference: washing your hands, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms.
“Thank you for playing your part.”
‘Devastating but necessary’
Speaking after the Prime Minister announced new restrictions for England, Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley & Spen said: “Tonight’s announcements are devastating but necessary.
“Many are going to lose loved ones in the weeks ahead and that is heart-breaking. Nobody wanted to be in the situation where further restrictions were necessary, however, the Prime Minister needs to explain why he delayed this decision, even opening schools only to close them again the next day, when the number of infections has been escalating for some time.
“We’re once again being asked to make great sacrifices and the Government simply must make rapid and meaningful progress with the vaccine rollout. I really hope that we can be with our family and friends again soon.”