PEOPLE in Leeds are being urged to follow tighter restrictions as Covid-19 rates rose again this week.

On Tuesday rates stood at 129.6 per 100,000 people tested - an increase of more than 10 points from Monday's figure of 118.5. A total of 8.9 per cent of tests being done were positive.

The increase came just days after the city was put under stricter measures in an attempt to try to control the spread of the virus.

Further restrictions on different households mixing were introduced in Leeds on Friday after detailed discussions between Leeds City Council, the government and Public Health England.

The measures mean residents are no longer allowed to mix with people outside their household or bubble in private homes, including gardens. This will be enforceable by law.

Residents are also advised not to meet people outside their household or bubble in any setting, whether a bar, shop or leisure facility – indoors or outdoors.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “We are acutely aware that nobody wants to see further restrictions placed on life in Leeds and alongside our partners we have been doing absolutely everything within our power to avoid that.

“But the safety of the city and the public simply has to come first and we have now reached a point where we all need to take additional steps to contain the spread of this terrible virus within our communities.

“How long these new measures last and how much further they may need go in the coming weeks and months will depend on everyone playing their part. We know there has already been some excellent partnership work taking place across the city and this will continue to manage outbreaks and help everyone stay safe.

“Building on that sense of community spirit, I’d appeal to everyone to follow these rules, consider the impact your actions could have on others and take your share of the responsibility for protecting our city.”

After the measures were announced Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough MP Stuart Andrew tweeted:

"I appreciate this is extremely disappointing news for my constituents but I can assure you the decision was not made lightly. Increasing cases across Leeds have meant this is necessary to control the outbreak we are seeing in our region."

Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel said: "The council have made a very difficult but in my view the correct call to introduce these measures. Once again people need to make significant sacrifices and endure disruption to their lives to help arrest the rapid growth in infections which are spreading out geographically. In order to install confidence, the Government need to release data, modelling and any other evidence that shows people that this will be an effective way of dealing with the significant rise in cases throughout West Yorkshire and the North of England in general.”

Otley and Yeadon councillor Sandy Lay said: “It’s a horrible situation made worse by the government’s constant changing of the rules but I remain torn as to the best approach as I clearly don’t want to see increased restrictions as these impact on everyone’s physical and mental health. They also hurt businesses and employment.

“However, in my other role as an A&E nurse we are clearly seeing an increase in patients with Covid like symptoms and admissions to hospital and if we continue to see the current rate increase then it won’t be long before the NHS is overwhelmed and people will die again in large numbers.”

Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth stressed that the greater the compliance with the laws and advice the sooner they would be lifted.

He added: "It is upon us all to do our bit. I understand there might not be as much clarity between ‘law’ and ‘advice’ as might be wished for, and while some people say it already goes too far or not far enough, this is what we have.

"The latest advice is not to socialise with people from outside your household, either indoors or out. However, there are still things that can be done. There is nothing to stop households going for a walk together in the local park for example although the ‘rule of 6’ must still be adhered to.

"As with many things, being active is an excellent way to maintain mental health. I note that organised team sports are still allowed, although not in private gardens and subject to social distancing. Outside, these can be in groups of more than six, but the key point is that they must be officially organised and have proper precautions put in place to be within the restrictions. Children's sports are not subject to these restraints and can have more than six indoors.

"If you are able to and have not already done so, I would also urge that you download the test and trace app on to your smartphone. The more people who have this installed will increase its effectiveness for everyone. And that means we can work in getting the local restrictions removed much more quickly.”