People from Ilkley will be allowed to mix with other households from Wednesday 2nd September under a change to the coronavirus restrictions.
The change means the national restrictions will continue to apply across towns and villages including Menston, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ilkley, Addingham, Silsden, Steeton, Eastburn, Haworth and Oakworth.
For areas in the Keighley wards of Bradford, where there continue to be cases of coronavirus being reported, the local restrictions introduced on 31st July will still apply.
Other areas of Bradford moving out of the restrictions are Baildon, Bingley, Bingley Rural, Shipley and Windhill & Wrose. A number of areas of Kirklees and Calderdale will also have the local restrictions lifted from next Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Bradford Council said its preference would be for restrictions to be lifted across the whole district rather than individual areas, saying it would be hard to police and would lead to confusion.
Speaking to Rombalds Radio this week Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore has been calling for a data-led local approach to allow restrictions to be lifted in some areas.
The changes from next week mean indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance and fitness studios and other sports facilities can now re-open in Ilkley, Wharfedale, Craven and the Worth Valley - as long as their operations are COVID Secure.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “The Government have made their decision. It’s great for people in a minority of wards and I’m relieved for them but it’s not great news for the rest of the district. We had hoped that this week they would remove the restrictions across the entire local authority, not just bits of it, especially as the infection rate has come down this week.
“Everyone continues to be concerned about the high, albeit decreasing, infection rates. The Outbreak Control Board and Group Leaders came to a consensus that any changes this week should apply to the whole district, the Group Leaders expressed a wish that on balance the whole district should revert to the national restrictions. After discussion the MPs for Bradford South, West and East and Shipley asked for their constituencies to come out of restrictions, the MP for Keighley was keen for Craven, Ilkley and Worth Valley to be removed but continued to express concerns about Keighley Central, Keighley East and Keighley West.
“We also hoped they would open gyms across the district again but they have instead chosen to only open them in Shipley constituency and in three wards of Keighley constituency, not in the entire Bradford District. Yet they are all open in Oldham where the infection rate is higher.
“Inevitably this is a more complex environment within which to manage local public services and of course there will be a real, and valid, feeling of unfairness that some residents are allowed to see their families again, but others cannot simply because they live a street away across a ward boundary.
“But I would ask people within the local restrictions to be patient and work with us to keep the infection rate down. We will continue to support you through these difficult times. The faster the infection rates comes down, the stronger our case for removing the entire district from restrictions.
“We have to adapt quickly and we are already changing how we implement this week’s restrictions to make it as easy as possible for people who are still within the local restrictions. We are building an online ward checker which will tell people which ward they are in and which regulatory framework they should follow. We hope to have this up and running later today.
“It’s important that people outside the local restrictions still realise that they must follow the national restrictions, this is sadly not going back to normal. We are a long way from normal as a nation.
“The Council will continue to work with its partners to inform people about the precautions they should be taking, to increase testing and contact tracing, and to keep infection rates in the district in check.”
The Council’s Director for Public Health Sarah Muckle said: “Just because restrictions have been relaxed in some of our wards we must remember that COVID-19, and the risk of catching it, has not gone away. Infection rates are still too high in some areas of the district, and are amongst some of the highest in the country.
“Therefore it is vital that everyone in the district continues to do the right thing, to follow our COVID Code, look after each other and keep infection rates heading in the right direction. That means maintaining social distance, wearing a face covering where it is required and practising good hygiene.
“Increasing the number of tests that are carried out across the district is vital, particularly in areas where infection rates are high. This is so we can find people who may have COVID but do not know it. They can then protect their families and people they come into contact with. If in doubt please get yourself tested.”
Here are the national rules which now apply for the areas moving out of local restrictions from Wednesday 2nd September:
You should only socialise in groups of up to two households (including your support bubble) indoors and outdoors or up to six people from different households when outdoors.
It is otherwise against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces).
Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment.
This can include weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals (which the Government advises should be limited to no more than 30 people), religious ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups.
Any other gathering in an outdoor space or in a private home (or garden) must not be any larger than 30 people.
When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with (and who are not in your support bubble), you should keep to the wider guidance on group sizes: up to two households indoors, and up to either two households or six people from more than two households outdoors.