York will remain in Tier 2, despite the dramatic fall in coronavirus rates in the city.
Health secretary Matt Hancock announced changes to the regional tier restrictions in the Commons today (Thursday).
There were a few big changes, but York stays in Tier 2 High across Christmas and at least to 27 December.
That is despite these figures since coming out of lockdown and entering Tier 2 on 2 December:
- coronavirus cases dropped to 65 per 100,000 – well below the Tier 2 and 3 averages
- New cases are down by 15.9 per cent
- Over 60s cases are down by 6.5 per cent
- Hospital admissions are down by 1.1 per cent
- The positivity rate is down by 2.5 per cent
Mr Hancock told MPs: “As we enter the coldest months we must be vigilant and keep this virus under control.
“Yesterday 25,161 cases were reported and there are 18,038 people in hospital with coronavirus in the UK. We must keep supressing this virus.”
Secondard schools are to be asked to stagger the physical return of students after the end of the Christmas holidays.
Some will work from home to begin with under the new plan.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The start of the term won’t be delayed but what we are doing is asking secondary schools and colleges to operate a staggered return supported by full-time remote education during the first week of term with in-person teaching in full starting on January 11.
“Students in exam year groups, vulnerable children, children of key workers, will attend school or college in person from the start of term as well as students in primary, special and alternative provision schools and colleges.”
Lobbying for Tier 1
City of York Council leader Keith Aspden said they would “continue to lobby the Government to consider moving York into Tier 1 restrictions, given the city’s success in driving the rate of infection down”.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank local residents and businesses for their hard work in bringing the rates of infection down. York’s case numbers remain among the lowest in the region, and we must keep this excellent work going.
“However, as underlined by the Government announcement today, Christmas poses new challenges and we must not rest on our laurels. It is absolutely vital that we continue to do all we can to follow the national guidance and ultimately, keep those we love safe.”
The city’s public health director Sharon Stoltz said: “With targeted testing introduced in the city and our fantastic local contact tracers, we have bolstered our defences against the virus.
“These measures are in addition to the extraordinary efforts of residents and businesses, but we can’t let our guard down.
“This is a virus that can spread incredibly quickly so we need to be careful and keep up our efforts.
“Although our case numbers and positivity rate have been falling there is some indication that these have started to rise again so by remaining in tier 2, with additional measures in place, we can continue our efforts to try and keep the number of cases under control.”