Following a number of West Yorkshire locations being placed on mini ‘local lockdowns’ as a result of surges in Coronavirus cases, it has now been revealed that Wakefield could be next on the list.
Restrictions are currently in place in neighbouring districts Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale – meaning residents may only visit a house or garden of someone in their support bubble. In addition to being banned from mingling with other households, non-essential businesses including skate rinks and casinos have been forced to remain closed.
And now, Councillor Denise Jeffery says Wakefield could be next – with Leeds also facing a sharp rise in cases.
Wakefield’s most senior police officers have also hinted that there is a big chance that Wakefield could become part of a West Yorkshire-wide lockdown, after the town saw an increase in new infections over recent weeks. The town has now been classed as an “area of concern” by the government.
Speaking at a COVID recovery board meeting last week, councillor Jeffery and District Commander Mark McManus of West Yorkshire Police discussed the issue, with DC McManus saying: “I don’t think any of us were expecting the other three areas to go into lockdown.
“I know Public Health nationally weren’t recommending that but the Cabinet Office took that option. I think it came a bit out of the blue to the three districts.
“Hopefully we shouldn’t (go into lockdown), but I think it’s something we’re probably on the verge of.”
In response, Councillor Jeffery said: “Let’s hope not. I think we’ve got to realise that it is a possibility, but let’s hope not.”
The three areas of West Yorkshire that are currently in a ‘local lockdown’ have seen an increase in cases this week. Bradford reported 33 new cases in just 24 hours at the beginning of this week, with Calderdale and Kirklees also reporting further increases in cases over the same timeframe.