The government has published new advice for a number of areas of the UK, where coronavirus infection rates are high and where the Indian variant of concern is spreading fastest.
Kirklees is one of the hardest hit areas in the country. It currently has the fourth highest rate of infections in England according to Public Health England.
The government website states: "The new COVID-19 variant spreads more easily from person to person. To help stop the spread, you should take particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble.'
The change to the guidance appears to have been made on Friday without an official announcement. It is understood the measures are guidance and are not legally enforced.
So what is the new government advice :
You should meet outside rather than inside where possible
Keep 2m apart from people that you don't live with, this includes friends and family you don't live with
Avoid travelling in and out of the affected areas unless it is essential
You should take lateral flow tests twice a week
Get vaccinated when you are offered it
If you have any symptoms, get a PCR test
You should self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19. There is financial support if you’re off work because of coronavirus.
Kirklees Council issued the following updated advice regarding travel, work and meeting other people in the borough.
Meeting other people outside rather than inside
Up to 30 people can mix outdoors.
Hugging friends and family is allowed, but please consider the vulnerability of people you hug and the people they are in contact with.
Travel and work
You are advised to avoid travelling in and out of Kirklees unless it is essential, for example for work or education.
Continue to work from home if you can.
Continue to follow the government guidance:
Wear a face covering in areas where it is compulsory. These include indoor public settings such as shops, public transport and places of worship.
Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions like wearing a face covering
Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
Kirklees council said it was not notified about changes to the advice on travel in and out of Kirklees and they are seeking clarification from the government.
Councillor Pandor added: “Tomorrow we will start surge testing in key locations across Kirklees. We are also working with NHS colleagues and government to deliver vaccinations faster and make them even more accessible to everyone in our community. If we work together, we will bring infections down and protect our community and our economy.”