On the news that Leeds is to stay in Tier 3, Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Obviously we are very disappointed to be left in Tier 3 particularly when a tier change would have been a welcome relief before Christmas. We understand this decision will be difficult to hear, but which tier Leeds falls into is ultimately the Government’s to make and our view due to falling infection rates as well as the extensive plans we have in place is that Leeds could safely be moved to Tier 2.
“Now more than ever we cannot overstate the importance of continuing to adhere to the rules for just a little longer as our position will be reviewed again on December 30th and Leeds could find itself in a better position if our indicators continue to remain positive.
“We have worked hard to deliver 1100 grants to businesses which had to close in December so they get payments at the earliest opportunity on December 17th and before Christmas. Furthermore, plans are in place for venues which predominantly serve alcohol to receive a Christmas support payment with applications going live from early January.
“Since the beginning of November the council has awarded 5500 grants to businesses affected by restrictions brought in at the end of September totalling £8.4m and since the start of the pandemic we have distributed around £170m to local businesses with grant funding schemes set to be extended.
“The vaccine offers great hope and we have already given 3000 people their first jab with 20,000 vaccinated before Christmas and our major rollout beginning in early January. For now our message remains unchanged – in order to keep ourselves and each other safe we must continue to follow all of the rules all of the time.”