UPDATED: York faces covid lockdown as PM announces new restrictions across England

31 Oct 2020 @ 12.58 pm
| News

Boris Johnson has announced a new lockdown in England at a news conference at Downing Street.

The PM was joined by chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

We were told deaths over winter have potential to be twice as bad as the first wave if nothing changes.

Mr Johnson says we could see several thousand deaths a day and “the risk is, for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us and our families”


A month long ‘circuit break’ lockdown will start in England on Thursday,

People will only be allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons, including education, work, food shopping, caring for vulnerable, to escape injury or harm, medical issues, volunteering and exercise. 

Work from home if you can.

Different households will not be able to mix, but support bubbles and childcare bubbles will remain and children can still move between homes if their parents are separated. 

No mixing of households outside, including in gardens and public places. People can sit on park benches and have picnics as long as it is with their household

Gyms, pubs, bars and restaurants will close – although will still be able to offer take-away services – and non-essential shops including hairdressers will also be shut. 

Supermarkets can still sell non-essential goods avoiding the repeat of the situation in Wales – click and collect can continue.

Private prayer allowed in places of worship, but no servicesFunerals allowed with close family members only

International travel out of the UK banned, except for work. Travel within the UK discouraged, except for work

Furlough scheme to be extended through November

Schools, colleges and universities will remain open as will courts, vets and parliament.

Professional sports allowed but amateur sports are not

Extremely vulnerable people will not be asked to shield again, but they are asked to minimise contact as far as possible.

The lockdown will end on 2 December, when the country will return to the tiered system based on the latest data. But, speaking on Sunday, Michael Gove suggested that it could be extended further if the R rate had not come down.

Boris Johnson finally went before cameras just before 7pm having delayed the briefing twice.

It is reported that he wanted to avoid stricter measures at all costs, and was due to to talk on Monday but a leak reported late last night forced him to act quickly.

No 10 is said to be furious and has launched official inquiry into how details of a meeting with senior cabinet members got out

The news means that a massive fireworks event at Elvington Airfield called Autumn Lights will have to be postponed. Read more from YorkMix here

This was the reaction to news that non-essential stores will have to close from Phil Pinder from the York Retail Forum:

“If we’re shutting down retail, then we need extra financial support, or this will decimate the High Street.

M&S is set to announce its first ever trading loss, not even world war and many bombed shops caused this before.

November is a very important month, and we’re effectively handing Christmas shopping to online retailers.

The government also need to look seriously at a 2021 windfall tax on tax dodgers like Amazon, and those that have profited from lockdown.”

Sam Robinson, owner of 1331, a bar off Grape Lane, told YorkMix earlier this week that he feared the city moving from Covid Tier 2 to Tier 3 more than another nationwide lockdown.

He says his business would have a better chance of surviving with the extra governent help a full lockdown would bring and that Tier 2 and 3 are very much no man’s land for him and his staff.

VIDEO – Sam talks about how his business if affected

York Central Labour MP Rachael Maskell has been calling for a circuit break for some time.

She says the Government’s delay means that a longer, harsher lockdown is now imminent to stop a devastating winter ahead.

However she thinks this will not be enough. She has said before that unless testing receives significant investment and contact tracing moves fully under local public health teams the strategy will still fail.

The City of York Council Leader Keith Aspden said earlier that York will need significant financial help.

He added that since the city went into Tier 2 cases have dropped.

Cllr Paul Doughty, who is Conservative group leader on City of York Council thinks that stricter measures as a breaker might give a chance for families to spend some time at Christmas. But he is very concerned for the effects on the economy and jobs.

Andy D’Agorne the leader of the York Green Party said on his twitter feed “Wales getting a lid on it but England belatedly set to lockdown, with schools and universities staying open and undermining effectiveness of this. What sense does that make?”

Saturday update: One more coronavirus death in York NHS Trust

There were a further 53 coronavirus cases confirmed in York today (Saturday, 31 October).

That takes the cumulative total to 3,705 – giving an overall infection rate of 1,759.1 cases per 100,000 people.

In the last seven days there have been 445 positive Covid-19 tests in York – which is down by 260 (-36.9%).

More on this from YorkMix here