Further lockdown restrictions lifted in West Yorkshire as gyms, skating rinks and swimming pools allowed to reopen

Gyms, pools and skating rinks will be able to reopen in West Yorkshire next week after further lockdown restrictions were eased.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 7:09 pm
Updated Friday, 4th September 2020, 7:18 pm

Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees were placed under 'local lockdown' on Thursday, July 30 due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

This meant households were not allowed to mix with other households.

Casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres, and indoor play areas were not allowed to open across all the restricted areas.

Gyms, pools and skating rinks will be able to reopen in West Yorkshire next week after further lockdown restrictions were eased.

Gyms and other fitness spaces were also not allowed to open in Bradford, due to higher rates of infection.

-> Owners slam "unjust" decision to force Bradford gyms to close as others in lockdown areas remain openParts of these areas became exempt from the exempt from the restrictions from Wednesday, September 2.

However, may areas of inner city Bradford, Batley, Dewsbury and parts of Calderdale remain under lockdown.

On September, Friday 4 at 6.20pm, the government announced that gyms, swimming pools, indoor fitness areas, dance studios and sports studios would be allowed to reopen.

Casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres, and indoor play areas (including soft play areas) can also reopen.

The businesses can reopen from Tuesday, September 8.

Close contact services such as eyebrow threading, facials or make-up application will also be allowed to resume from that date.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I’m very glad we’ve been able to make this change, working with local councils, because local lockdowns are working to control the virus.

"We are seeing improvements in the rates of infection thanks to the huge efforts made by local communities and authorities working alongside our effective Test and Trace system.

"We must stay alert and I continue to encourage everyone to play their part by following local rules, self-isolating and requesting a free test as soon as they get any symptoms.”

The government also announced that Wakefield has been removed from the 'areas of concern' watchlist.

Leeds and Middlesbrough have been added to the list.

-> Leeds put on weekly coronavirus watch list after rise in cases 'in different areas of the city'Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “This week the Government have decided that there will be no change in restrictions for the vast majority of people in the Bradford District.

“I’m relieved however that it’s good news that gyms, swimming pools and other sport and leisure businesses can open across the whole district from next Tuesday (8 September), rather than only in Shipley constituency and in three wards of Keighley constituency.

"I know it will be good news for those gym and other fitness business owners.

“Good news today also for casinos and soft play areas that were originally scheduled to re-open on 15 August but were prevented by Government from doing so. These can now reopen too.

“We continue to be concerned about high infection rates in the district and the fact that continuing different arrangements in some wards confuse the public health messages and also confuse residents about what they can and can’t do. We’ll continue to support people and provide advice and guidance wherever they are.

“We are focusing on further developing local test and trace as the principal tool to help us bring infection rates down as quickly as possible. The faster those rates fall, the stronger our case for removing restrictions across the whole district will be.

“We would encourage everyone, no matter where they live, to do the right thing and get themselves tested if they think they have symptoms or are contacted by local or national test and trace. And everyone should also follow the simple health messages – stay apart (2 metres), wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering where it is required.”