17 September 2020

West Yorkshire authorities coordinate resources to implement Rule of Six

West Yorkshire local authorities, together with West Yorkshire Police, will be taking a collaborative and proactive approach to ensure the public, businesses and venues across the county are adhering to new legislation following the implementation of the Rule of Six.

The new legislation, which came into effect on Monday, prohibits social gatherings of more than six people. West Yorkshire Prepared, the region’s Local Resilience Forum, has asked partners to use a joined-up approach to ensure there is understanding and acceptance of the new law across the region, to help prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

Local Authority teams, of Environmental Health Officers and Licencing Officers, alongside West Yorkshire Police will target key areas of West Yorkshire towns and cities for the next few weeks, to ensure people are following the new rules. They will target different areas in each Local Authority, focusing resources where they are most needed and will be most effective. Key areas have been cited as bars and pubs, university and student zones and public spaces such as parks and town centres.

Dave Walton, co-Chair of West Yorkshire Prepared and Deputy Chief Fire Officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Once again in this pandemic, we’re at a critical point. The numbers of cases are increasing on a daily basis, and while they’re still largely in the under-35 age group, we’re starting to see a shift towards older age groups.

“As has been widely reported recently, Covid-19 cases are increasing across the country. However, the latest data from Public Health England shows that Yorkshire and Humber cases remain some of the highest in the country. If we are to avoid further local restrictions being put in place, it is vital that everyone acts now and takes responsibility to stop these numbers rising further.”

Local Authorities and the police have been successfully working together with the public throughout the pandemic to ensure an understanding and adherence to the guidelines set out by the UK Government. But this is the first time a cross-region, joined up approach has been taken with dedicated teams acting simultaneously across the county.

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said: “It is essential that we all follow the latest regulations and restrictions to help prevent the spread of Covid 19. This is a shared effort with police playing their part alongside Government, businesses, hospitality owners, local authorities and others. In the majority of cases the public has followed the guidance and we would like to thank them for their patience and understanding.

“We would urge people to use their common sense and think about their own safety and the safety of others during these unprecedented times.”

The new Rule of Six came into effect on Monday (14 September) and prohibits social gatherings of more than six people, both indoors and outdoors and applies to all ages. The new rule is enforceable by law and could lead to fines of £100 for those who don’t abide by the new guidance. There are some exemptions, which can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing. In areas with local restrictions, residents should continue to follow local guidance and can contact their Local Authority for more details.

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.