YORK will move into Tier 3 from midnight tonight (Wednesday), the Health Secretary has confirmed.
In a statement to the House of Commons, Matt Hancock said the city would move into Tier 3 along with North Yorkshire.
The news comes after a stark increase in the number of cases across the city – rising from 60 per 100,000 a few weeks ago to 240.2 per 100,000.
Tier 3 restrictions mean hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services from midnight tonight.
The following other entertainment and tourist venues must also close:
- indoor play centres and areas, including inflatable parks and soft play centres and areas (other than for people who have a disability)
- trampolining parks (other than for elite athletes, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
- casinos, bingo halls and bowling alleys.
- indoor skating rinks (other than for elite athletes, professional dancers and choreographers, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
- amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
- cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
York residents will not be able to meet with anybody indoors or in household gardens they do not live with. The rule of six applies to outdoor settings in public gardens and spaces only.
Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.
But leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, although group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go-ahead.
And retail premises may remain open – other than shops situated inside closed premises that cannot be accessed directly from the street.
While hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, saunas and steam rooms can do too.
Community centres and halls, and libraries can also remain open.
MP for York Central Rachael Maskell, said: “The Secretary of State has just announced that York will be moving into Tier 3. Devastating and necessary.
“We need more support for businesses and we need everyone to play their part, as they have done before – HANDS-FACE-SPACE. Please keep safe.
She added: “I raised my concerns about the weakness of the differentiated Tiering system with the Health Minister and scientists. It is clear this is not working without being enforceable. People moved between Tiers, so did Covid19. Police do not have the powers to stop this migration.”
Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “Today’s news means further changes to the way we live our lives. This is a cruel and unforgiving virus which has impacted all our lives. In recent weeks Coronavirus rates across the city and country have increased rapidly making the change in restrictions necessary.
“We know how much people have done to slow the spread over the last year. It is now time to redouble our efforts to keep friends, families and neighbours safe.
“These changes have a huge impact on businesses who have invested and adapted to be COVID secure. There will be support available and we will share more details imminently, continuing to do all we can to support residents and businesses across the city.
Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health at City of York Council said: “Whilst no one wants more changes to restrictions they are needed following a rise in cases in the city.
“Wearing a face covering when in public places, keeping a safe distance and washing our hands regularly remain vital, as is self-isolating when told to by test and trace. I would also urge those eligible to get regular symptom-free tests to help us identify cases quickly and stop the virus from spreading further.
“We’ve come a long way together and made so many sacrifices. They have made a difference and saved lives. With those most at risk from Coronavirus being vaccinated, there are reasons to be optimistic. Whilst the vaccine is being rolled out we must all keep doing all we can to keep ourselves and those we love safe.
“We know this is a concerning and challenging time for people, especially those most at risk. By limiting our contacts and remembering hand, face, space we can keep ourselves and others safe.”
Meanwhile, huge swathes of England will move into Tier 4 and include Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria, Birmingham, Dudley and Sandwell.
Walsall, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Solihull, Warwickshire and Staffordshire will also enter Tier 4 from midnight tonight.
As well as Cheshire Warrington, Stoke on Trent, Leceister, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire.