FOLLOWING last night's announcement about a national lockdown, the Government have now said that the Tier 3 restrictions planned for Monday will not be coming into force.

Tougher national measures for England with into effect this Thursday and last until December 2 to stem the rise in the rates of infection and hospital admissions from Covid-19.

But Bradford and West Yorkshire leaders have questioned the timing of the announcement, which came only two days after it was decided West Yorkshire, including the Bradford district, would be moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 on Monday.

A spokesperson for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) said: "Following several days of intense discussions with Ministers about the introduction of new restrictions in West Yorkshire, we are frustrated and angry about the government’s timing, handling and communications around the plans for a national lockdown.

​"Firstly, for our residents and businesses, we must clear up understandable confusion: the region will now not be moving into Tier 3 (Very High) measures on Monday as planned; we will remain in Tier 2 (High) restrictions, and then follow the national measures from Thursday until Wednesday, December 2."

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “I asked the Secretary of State twice last week whether the country was going into national lockdown and was told firmly no.

"This latest Government announcement, coming only two days after the announcement that Bradford and West Yorkshire was to enter Tier 3 (Very High) restrictions, will understandably therefore be confusing for residents and businesses alike.

"All the Tier 3 regulations we briefed residents and businesses on, on Friday are now irrelevant and we must wait for fresh information from Government on Monday.

"Just a couple of days ago Government were impressing upon us, as leaders in West Yorkshire, that the health emergency was very urgent. The new Tier 3 restrictions were therefore due to start Monday.

"Now we hear it’s going to be national restrictions from Thursday. If it was urgent on Thursday, it’s certainly urgent today and I would therefore make a plea to all residents and businesses to be extra careful from now on, don’t wait until Thursday to exercise extra caution."

The WYCA spokesperson added: "The residents and businesses of West Yorkshire had only just begun to prepare for Tier 3 measures to hit on Monday, and they are now having to change their plans once again.

"We have worked hard over the last few days to advocate for the people and businesses of West Yorkshire. It is imperative that Government now honours the financial commitments made to the people and businesses of the region during these discussions in writing again now.

"We received verbal assurances this evening that support packages will be provided, but await written confirmation from Government.

"We remain extremely concerned about the rising infection rates in the region. The urgency for people to restrict their social interactions is still as real as it was when Tier 3 was announced last week.

"Our hospitals are under tremendous strain and we would collectively implore everyone to follow the regulations, stay apart, wash your hands and wear your face covering.

"We must now pull together, comply with the rules and take every action we can to face this challenge as a community and as a nation. We have to do this to beat this virus."

Cllr Hinchcliffe added: “If you can stay at home do, stay apart from others, wash your hands and wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. The infection rate is extremely high and our hospitals are getting an increasing number of admissions.

“We are determined to work with our West Yorkshire partners to make sure we get the right support for our area so that we limit the damage these restrictions will cause for businesses and communities.

“I want to repeat the plea that I made to our residents last week: to stay apart, wear a face covering indoors and wash your hands. And if you get Covid please self-isolate for the whole 10 days.”