COUNCIL bosses and the police are calling on revellers to go home straight away after York pubs close at 10pm this weekend – in a bid to prevent the mass gatherings in the city centre that were seen last Saturday.
As reported by The Press, footage shared by thousands of people on Facebook showed crowds in Church Street singing, booing and chanting as a police van arrived at the scene after the 10pm curfew saw pubs shut last Saturday.
The council said it will be increasing the presence of officers and York BID marshals to remind people not to gather in the streets after closing times in the city centre.
It added that the police, public health experts and York BID were working with the council’s community safety team to ensure people’s safety.
Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for safer communities at City of York Council, said: “I would encourage people to enjoy the city and then return safely home to help slow the spread of the virus and to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.”
Sharon Stoltz, director of public health at the local authority, said: “Gathering in large groups close to each other gives the virus the chance to spread and increases the risk for us all.
“We want people to enjoy themselves in our fantastic city while looking after each other.
“The best way to do that is to remember ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and to wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds or more with soap and water and keep two metres apart from people outside your household, not gathering in groups of more than six
“Please wear a face-covering in busy public spaces and self-isolate if you have symptoms of coronavirus.”
Superintendent Mike Walker, who is leading the Covid-19 response for North Yorkshire Police, said: “We’ve been working very closely with our partners to make York as safe as possible to visit.
“However, it’s not just down to police and business owners to stop the spread of this deadly virus, it’s also down to the public to make the right decisions and abide by the regulations.
“North Yorkshire Police will continue to do everything within our power to keep the people of York and North Yorkshire safe.”