Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor says the Government’s ‘road map’ out of the Covid-19 pandemic brings hope for the future.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced how lockdown restrictions will be eased between March 8 and June 21.

The four-step plan will see schools open on March 8; non-essential shops, hair salons, gyms and outdoor pubs and hospitality from April 12; social gatherings, indoor hospitality and entertainment venues from May 17; and all remaining businesses, including nightclubs, overnight stays and holidays from June 21.

Clr Pandor said: “Today’s announcement means we can look to the future with hope but also with great caution.

“The Government has set out a clear road map that means we are moving towards some kind of normality.

“I am confident that everyone in Kirklees will do their bit to ensure we keep infection rates down with a view to getting further restrictions lifted in the coming weeks.

“I think the way our residents have come together is remarkable and once again I would like to thank each and every one for doing their bit.

“We have to do everything we can to get young people back into school as quickly and safely as possible.

“We also need to be mindful of the impact lockdown has had on people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“It’s paramount that we give priority to this and get restrictions lifted and places opened that have a positive impact on physical and mental health.

“I also want to thank our local NHS and partner organisations for continuing to deliver the vaccination programme in Kirklees which will play such a vital part in following the road map.

“But we need to remember how quickly infection rates can increase. Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, the road map relies on every one of us continuing to do everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe.

“Please continue to follow all of the restrictions and always remember the basics such as social-distancing, hand-washing and wearing a face covering.

“We are not there yet, but we are heading in the right direction. If we all continue to play our part, we will gradually see more and more restrictions removed and move towards some kind of normality in the near future.

“Thank you for all of the sacrifices you are all making. We still have a long way to go but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”