NEW Covid-19 restrictions on different households mixing have been confirmed for Leeds.

The measures, which come into effect from midnight tonight, could remain in place through the winter. They follow detailed discussions between Leeds City Council, the government and Public Health England.

The attempt to control the spread of the virus in the city is being made after a steep increase in the number of positive tests. The latest seven day rate for Leeds stands at 98.5 per 100,000 people, with 8.4 per cent of those tested being positive.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed the city will be under new Covid-19 restrictions from midnight tonight. People will no longer be allowed to meet anyone from another household in their homes or gardens unless they are in a support bubble.

The new restrictions could remain in place through the winter, according to the city council's chief executive Tom Riordan.

Earlier today Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said she expected Leeds would be made an “area of intervention”, meaning “more household restrictions along the lines of those already in force across three of the West Yorkshire districts in Bradford, Kirkless and Calderdale”.

She told reporters: “We expect them to come in from midnight.”

The addition of Leeds’ 793,000 population would take the number of people living under local restrictions to more than 16.2 million people across the UK.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said: “What we are trying to do is give a simple message – you shouldn’t really mix with other households.”

He said about 780,000 people will come under the new measures which could be in place through the winter.

He added: “I think we know from the experience of Leicester, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire that when these restrictions are brought in they do not tend to be lifted after a week or two.”

A total of 757 people in Leeds have tested positive for coronavirus in the week from September 16 to September 22 - an increase of 151 cases from the previous week.

The measures will mean that from midnight today, Friday, September 25:

•People in Leeds cannot meet or host people they do not live with in private homes or gardens unless they are in their support bubble.

•Cannot visit someone else's home or garden even if they live outside of Leeds, unless they are in their support bubble.

•People can still come inside a home or garden for specific purposes. These include where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble; to attend a birth at the mother’s request; to visit a person who is dying; to fulfil a legal obligation; for work purposes, or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services; for the purposes of education or training; for the purposes of childcare; to provide emergency assistance; to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm; to facilitate a house move; to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person.

•Existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents will remain exempt.

•Friends and family can also still provide informal childcare for children under 14.

In addition to these restrictions, people in Leeds are also being advised:

•Not to socialise with people they do not live with, unless they are in their support bubble, in any public venue either in Leeds or elsewhere. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks.

•Not to visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.

•To follow all relevant transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of the areas affected, wear a face covering on public transport and try not to share a car with those outside their household or support bubble.

Restrictions will be continually monitored and reviewed and additional measures could be brought in the coming weeks if required.

Cllr Blake, 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."