LEADERS of West Yorkshire’s five Councils have today met with the Government about local Covid infection rates – and have revealed there was no discussion about the area moving to a higher alert level, or Tier 3.

But there will be another meeting with the Government on early infection rates early next week.

The region entered Tier 2 of the Government’s new Covid alert system earlier this week.

Under this tier, restrictions are very similar to what many in the region, including people in Bradford, have been living with for the past few months.

Liverpool and Lancashire have been placed in the higher level, Tier 3, meaning bars and pubs have to shut, unless they serve food.

There had been concerns that West Yorkshire could be placed into this category by the end of the week.

But this afternoon leaders of the five Councils in West Yorkshire, Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees, released the following joint statement.

“Today we held a discussion with senior Government officials, along with our Chief Executives and Directors of Public Health, about the prevalence and spread of Covid-19 in West Yorkshire.

“There was no discussion about moving to a higher alert level.

“We share the Government’s concerns that rates are rising in our areas, and our number one priority is to take the most effective action possible to tackle the virus, protect people and save lives.

“We repeated our call for more resources to implement effective local health measures to tackle the pandemic in our region, including local test and trace, community engagement, and more support for people to self-isolate.

“We need everyone to play their part to beat this virus.

“It is crucially important that everyone in West Yorkshire follows the current rules and guidance: in particular to follow the instructions on self-isolating to prevent the spread of infection.

“The Government have asked us to meet them again early next week.

“We see this as an opportunity to set out the effectiveness of local measures, what further resources are needed to support local teams and businesses, and to review the latest health data.

“We expect the Government to engage in open, constructive discussions about how to tackle the virus without doing further damage to the economy, jobs and livelihoods.”