30 December 2020

Local Resilience Forum urges people not to hold house parties ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, West Yorkshire Prepared, the region’s Local Resilience Forum, is urging the public to keep following the guidance and not host large gatherings which could lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases.

While the majority of people, businesses and venues across the district are now following Covid-19 guidance to help reduce the spread of the virus, there are concerns that an increase in private house parties could lead to increased infection rates in the New Year.

Tim Kingsman, co-Chair of West Yorkshire Prepared and Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: “This isn’t about stopping anyone’s fun – we know this time of year is traditionally spent surrounded by friends and family – but our concern is the people who attend these parties will then go to shops, out in the community or meet up with other friends and relatives and could, unknowingly, be spreading the virus further.

“Everyone in West Yorkshire has worked extremely hard to bring Covid-19 rates down and, while they still remain high, the region is one of the most improved areas. The safest option this year is to celebrate at home with your own household or support bubble. We need to keep working together to bring cases down even further and prevent the spread of infection.”

Under Tier 3 restrictions, which covers the entirety of West Yorkshire, you must not socialise with anybody outside your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, private garden or at most outdoor public venues. However, you can see friends and family you do not live with (or have a support bubble with) in groups of 6 or less in some outdoor public spaces such as parks, in the countryside or in playgrounds. Check the full guidance here: www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-3-very-high-alert. If you break the rules, the police can take action against you, including breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines if required.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said: “Covid-19 is still a very real threat and it is incumbent upon us all to do the right thing. That means managing our own behaviours and activities, although we know this is incredibly difficult after a really tough year. 

“However, going against this latest guidance will only contribute to the problem and extend our recovery process as a region and country, so I would urge people to ensure they do the right thing, not only for themselves but for their loved ones and wider community. 

“West Yorkshire Police will continue to adopt the approach of Encourage, Explain, Engage and Enforce breaches where appropriate. We can and will get through this together, but we have to all do our bit to ensure we are doing whatever we can to reduce the rates of transmission to help come out more quickly and safely at the other end of this in 2021.”

To keep up to date with West Yorkshire Prepared, please visit www.westyorkshireprepraed.org.uk 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.