Support and advice about council services across Leeds is being given to help steer the city through the new national lockdown.
After the latest restrictions came into force earlier this week, teams across the council have been working to ensure access to services remains as accessible as possible for residents over the coming weeks and months.
The council will also be working closely with health partners on a major rollout of vaccinations in a bid to get the city back on its feet as soon as possible and it is anticipated that more than 40,000 people will have been vaccinated in Leeds by this weekend.
While restrictions remain in place, the Government is asking people to stay at home, except for specific purposes; not to gather with others they don’t live with, except for specific purposes and is closing some businesses and venues.
This will mean that many council services will be operating differently. Full information on how all council services are operating check https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/our-services for regular updates as operations are subject to change.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“The hugely encouraging news that vaccines are being rolled out across the UK means we now all have reason to feel more optimistic about what the future holds than we have for quite some time.
“However, the recent rise in rates in Leeds means we must continue to show the determination and tenacity that we have shown throughout the pandemic by adhering to the rules so that we can protect our health service and keep our city and its communities safe.
“It remains vitally important that we follow the guidance in place if we are to reduce transmission, which includes staying at home as much as possible, social distancing, only undertaking essential journeys, regularly washing hands and wearing face masks. The recent mutation of the virus makes it much easier for it to spread and so we must now be extra vigilant to avoid our hospitals becoming overwhelmed.
“There is hope that together, we are entering the final stretch of this incredibly arduous journey and we cannot afford to stumble now. We must continue to dig deep to keep the virus under control and protect ourselves and each other.”
Details about how some key services are operating are below, but could be subject to change.
Services planned to remain open:
- Parks, playgrounds and the Arium, plus car parks and greenspaces
- Waste services will remain operational but likely to be under pressures
- Social care continues
- Colleges, primary and secondary schools remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
- Funeral services will continue with a maximum capacity of 30 people.
- Household waste recycling centres will stay open
- Street support for rough sleepers
- Bulky waste collection and forestry continues and litter bins will be emptied as staffing allows
- Essential computer use is available at libraries at some community hubs and libraries more at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/our-services
- The contact centre will continue to operate
- Civil Registrations Offices remain open
- Parks and playground maintenance, responsive highway and winter maintenance, catering and cleaning to support those council venues remaining open; responsive and planned maintenance of council buildings.
Services planned to close or see significant change:
- Visitor attractions, including museums and galleries, and venues, will close for the duration of the lockdown period
- Leisure centres and golf courses and will close in line with Government guidance along with skate parks, outdoor gyms, multi-use games areas, golf courses, bowling greens, football pitches and tennis courts
- Weddings and civil partnerships can only go ahead in exceptional circumstances with a maximum of 6 people attending (the couple and 4 guests). All marriage and civil partnership ceremonies due to take place during the current lockdown have been cancelled.
- Face-to-face Welfare Rights service will cease. Doorstep visits can continue.
- Market stalls selling non-essential item will need to close.
- If you have received a letter to say they’re clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. From 5 January the advice is to shield at home. You should not leave home to go to work, school or other educational settings, or to visit shops and pharmacies. Find more information and access assistance at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/advice-for-shielded-residents
Financial Support for businesses
Impact on NHS Services
People are increasingly likely to experience a delay or find appointments cancelled across healthcare services. Primary care services continue to remain open however all initial appointments are over the phone or online usually by video call.
All services will continue to be appointment only and people will be invited for vaccinations through a national booking system, which will allow them to choose the most convenient location for them.
GP practices are busy contacting eligible patients to make appointments for their first vaccination as supplies are made available to them but it is likely take several weeks to cover everyone in these first groups. It is important that people wait for the NHS to contact them.
More information and support for residents can be found here: www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Support for businesses can be found here: www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/business