Disagreement among MPs over changes to lockdown restrictions

  • Judith Cummins, MP Bradford South and Craig Whittaker, MP Calder Valley

There has been disagreement among West Yorkshire's MPs over the government's announcement of changes to lockdown restrictions.

It means people living in central Bradford, Keighley, Dewsbury and Batley still cannot mix with different households indoors or in gardens - while those living in places like the Calder Valley can from next Wednesday.

Judith Cummins MP for Bradford South said people are feeling 'miffed' about the decision making.

Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West, said people just want 'clarity.'

Meanwhile Craig Whittaker MP for Calder Valley said the changes are 'great news' for his constituents.

Restrictions have been lifted in parts of West Yorkshire where incidence rates have decreased. 

Following discussions with local leaders, the Health Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), and the Chief Medical Officer for England have agreed this week’s changes to local restrictions in some parts of England.

From Wednesday 2 September restrictions on two households mixing introduced last month will be lifted in the following areas.

Areas in Bradford, where restrictions are being lifted:

  • Worth Valley

  • Craven

  • Ilkley

  • Baildon

  • Bingley

  • Bingley Rural

  • Shipley

  • Wharfedale

  • Windhill and Wrose

Areas in Calderdale, where restrictions are being lifted:

  • Brighouse

  • Calder

  • Elland

  • Greetland and Stainland

  • Hipperholme and Lightcliffe

  • Luddendenfoot

  • Rastrick

  • Ryburn

  • Todmorden

Areas in Kirklees where restrictions are being lifted:

  • Golcar

  • Greenhead

  • Heckmondwike

  • Holme Valley South

  • Lindley

  • Liversedge and Gomersal

  • Mirfield

  • Newsome

  • Cleckheaton

  • Dalton

  • Denby Dale

  • Almondbury

  • Colne Valley

  • Crosland Moor and Netherton

  • In Bradford: Bradford city and Keighley town are excluded.

  • In Calderdale: Halifax is excluded.

  • In Kirklees: Dewsbury and Batley are excluded.

It means next week over one million people will be able to mix with family and friends outside their household, in line with national social distancing rules, for the first time since restrictions were announced on 30 July.

Businesses and organisations which opened elsewhere in England on 15 August, including bowling alleys and indoor play areas, will also be permitted to re-open in the areas listed above, bringing these areas in line with the rest of the country.

The easements have been agreed due to local efforts to halt spikes in the virus, through local interventions, increased targeted testing and avoiding mixing with other households indoors.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

He continued: “It is vital we can maintain this good progress. I have every faith people across the county, especially in areas where we are seeing higher numbers of cases, will continue to play their part by following local rules, and self-isolating and requesting a free test as soon as they get any symptoms.” 

The weekly Local Action Gold Committee, chaired by the Health Secretary, agreed local restrictions will continue in the following areas:

West Yorkshire

  • Urban areas of Bradford, where the ban on indoor household gatherings is in place and some businesses and organisations remain closed.

  • In Kirklees, the ban on indoor household gatherings will continue in Dewsbury and Batley.

  • The ban will also continue in parts of Calderdale.

The announcement on this week’s changes to local restrictions comes as the Health Secretary has signed new national regulations formalising penalties for people who repeatably do not wear face coverings on public transport, shops and other areas where it is mandatory. 

Fines for not wearing face coverings start at £100, which can be reduced if paid within 14 days. Repeat offenders on public transport or in indoor settings will now have their fines doubled at each offence. After the first offence, there will be no discount. This means a second fine will amount to £200 and a third fine will be £400, up to a maximum value of £3,200.