Indoor venues in Leeds including the city’s restaurants, bars, museums and cinemas will welcome back visitors next week as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.
The latest step in the relaxation of government restrictions will mean that from May 17, groups of six people or two households will be able to meet indoors as well as groups of up to 30 being permitted to meet up outdoors. New guidelines around attending events, social contact and overnight stays will also come into effect and people in Leeds are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the latest advice and guidance so the city can continue the positive progress it has made over the past month.
Under the next stage of restrictions easing, from Monday (May 17):
- Restaurants, pubs and bars will be allowed to welcome customers indoors and groups of up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet there.
- People will be permitted to meet in groups of up to 30 in venues that have outdoor drinking or dining.
- Leeds Museums and Galleries indoor sites will reopen as normal from Monday with social distancing and COVID secure measures in place. The latest information on reopening can be found at www.museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk
- Other indoor attractions including Roundhay Park Tropical World will also reopen. Visit: www.tropicalworld.leeds.gov.uk for updates.
- Cinemas can reopen to customers with social distancing in place.
- Some larger theatre, music and sporting events indoors will be allowed to have a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).
- Outdoor venues can open to a maximum capacity of 4,000 people or half-full, whichever is lower.
- Larger outdoor venues, which can allow for greater social distancing, can host 10,000 people or quarter-full, whichever is lower.
- Overnight stays at someone else’s house will be permitted.
- The rule of 30 will be removed for funerals but will stay in place for weddings, receptions and wakes.
- Care home residents can have up to five named visitors.
The new guidelines follow the successful reopening of Leeds city centre and non-essential retail across the city last month. Over the past few weeks, the city centre has seen some of its busiest days since the start of the pandemic, with consistently high footfall recorded and retailers reporting strong sales.
The council has approved an extra 30 new or extended street café licences to allow more room for people to sit outside along with an extra hour of outdoor trading on Fridays and Saturdays. Dedicated teams of night marshals, COVID marshals and city centre ambassadors have also helped welcome people back to the city centre.
Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“It’s been incredibly encouraging to see so many people back enjoying Leeds safely and sensibly and for all the teamwork, determination and effort from our officers, residents and businesses to be paying off.
“Life in Leeds is feeling increasingly more like normal and we’ve made some quite remarkable strides in the right direction over these past few weeks and months by sticking together and taking care of each other as Leeds always does.
“As restrictions ease further and there are even more opportunities for us to get out and about and see each other, we would ask people to continue to act with that spirit of community and togetherness, to be compassionate and responsible and to keep the city safe.”
The latest figures show the city’s COVID rates have remained stable at 47.7 per 100,000 people, with a positivity rate of two per cent. Rates among the over-60s, which stand at 11.8 per 100,000, as well as hospitalisations and deaths all remain low.
People can still play their part in keeping virus figures down by following the guidance in each individual setting and remembering:
- Contact outdoors is much safer as it this reduces the risk of breathing in infected particles and disperses the virus more easily.
- Continue to wear face coverings when required and maintain social distancing whenever you’re out.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Continue to follow the rules even if you’ve had the vaccine.
Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council’s director of Public Heath said:
“We know this is an incredibly exciting time for everyone in Leeds who has been waiting for so long time to get out and enjoy seeing friends and family again.
“Each new step on the road to normality does carry with it an increased risk of transmitting the virus though, so we would ask that, as we begin learning to live with the virus, people act responsibly, using their judgement about the level of risk their actions pose to both themselves and those they may come into contact with.
“All the current data is pointing towards us being through the worst of the pandemic and our infection rates have been improving. However, Leeds and Yorkshire as a whole do still have higher rates than other areas and we must also stay vigilant and responsive to the emergence or further spread of any new variants. We can all help keep cases as low as possible by carefully navigating this next stage, following the latest guidance and taking care of one another.”
For full details on the easing of restrictions on May 17, visit: www.gov.uk
For the latest on Leeds City Council services, please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk