‘End social mixing, keep children at home’: York MP says city must bring in a New Zealand-style Covid clampdown

A social distancing sign on Micklegate in York. Photograph: Zac Goodwin / PA Wire
12 Jan 2021 @ 5.20 pm
| News

Rachael Maskell is calling for a New Zealand-style clampdown on social mixing in York to control the virus which is ‘ripping through’ the city.

The Labour MP for York Central said today that there are “too many opportunities for person to person contact causing Covid-19 to rip through the city.

“Now with infection rates double that of the region, York must bear down on Covid-19, by minimising social contact.

“This approach has worked in places like New Zealand, where a rapid response to Covid freed the country from infection. The same is needed here so we can return to normal activity as soon as possible.”

She said: “As your MP, I am asking employers to allow their staff to work at home, unless providing absolutely essential services to residents.

“I am asking parents, unless they have no other form of childcare, to keep their children at home, and I am asking venues that are open to assess whether they really need to be.

“Furthermore, I am asking people to end their social mixing, unless it is with someone in their household or social bubble, and to stay home.”

York in the worst situation

York Central MP Rachael Maskell

She blamed York’s rising rates on people travelling to York from Tier 3 areas while the city was left in the less-restrictive Tier 2 at the end of last year.

“We are now seeing the damage caused by the pre-Christmas movement of people from Tier 3 coming to York, something I tried to get Government to enforce restrictions on, and of social mixing over Christmas.

“SAGE advised the Prime Minister of the risk of this, and now we are seeing the consequences. This has left York in the worst of all positions.”

It would be tough, but Ms Maskell urged everyone to “please think of our exhausted, broken NHS staff, having to wear full PPE all day long, unable to cope the sheer volume of infections coming through their doors, not to mention all the other medical problems they are dealing with.”