9 September 2020

Young people in West Yorkshire have an important role to play in tackling Covid-19, according to Local Resilience Forum

Ahead of new regulations coming into force on Monday, West Yorkshire Prepared is asking young people in the region to step up and take action in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

As cases in West Yorkshire continue to rise amongst young people, and with schools, colleges and universities returning this month, the region’s Local Resilience Forum wants to encourage younger generations to think about how their actions could impact on friends, family and the wider community.

Although evidence shows younger people tend not to be as severely affected by Covid-19, they are still carriers and can easily spread the virus to friends and family who may be more vulnerable. A number of recent events have seen young people gathering together in large groups, ignoring guidelines on social distancing and the requirement to wear face coverings.

Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive of Calderdale Council and co-Chair of West Yorkshire Prepared, said: “Thousands of students will be returning to the region this month. We are asking all of you to think about the current situation and the role you can play in keeping all our families safe.

“We know that rising rates of infection risk affecting the most vulnerable and could result in someone in our community becoming seriously ill, be that a close family member or friend.”

West Yorkshire, along with other parts of the country, has unfortunately seen a number of unlicensed events, such as raves and house parties, taking place recently, despite them being prohibited by the current restrictions due to the risks they present to public health. Over August bank holiday weekend, West Yorkshire Police issued eight fines of £10,000 each to organisers of Unlicensed Music Events (UMEs) and seized around £20,000 worth of music equipment. 

It was announced yesterday (8 September) that a ban on groups of more than six people gathering in homes, parks, pubs and restaurants in England will be implemented from Monday 14th. Offenders could face a £100 fine, doubling after each further repeat offence up to £3,200.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Kingsman of West Yorkshire Police, and co-Chair of West Yorkshire Prepared, said: “We understand people, especially young people, being frustrated at not being able to enjoy themselves in the same way as they might have done in previous years. But unlicensed events and large gatherings present a real risk to everyone’s health. It is absolutely vital that everyone acts responsibly to ensure we all work together to take care of ourselves, families and communities.

“I would like to thank the vast majority of residents in the region, who are continuing to comply with the restrictions, for their understanding and patience. Our priority remains keeping our communities safe from the spread of Coronavirus and we can only do that by abiding by the current restrictions.”

With many children returning to school this month, Local Authorities have also issued guidance for parents and students to help keep everyone safe.

  • Travel to school: Pupils are encouraged to walk or cycle to school or college where possible. If this is not possible, anyone over the age of 11 travelling on a bus or train should wear a face covering. Pupils are encouraged to carry their own hand sanitiser and should not travel if they have symptoms of coronavirus. If car sharing with people from another household, pupils over 11 years old should wear a face covering and windows opened for ventilation where possible.
  • In school: It will not usually be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures have already been put in place, meaning the risks are lower. In regions where local restrictions are in place (such as parts of Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford), pupils aged 11 or above should wear face coverings when moving through the school, in communal areas and where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

You can find out further details by visiting your local council’s website or reading the UK Government’s guidelines at www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

To keep up to date with West Yorkshire Prepared, please visit westyorkshireprepared.test/latest-news or follow us on Facebook (@WYPrepared) or Twitter (@WYRForum).

For reliable, up to date information on Covid-19, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.