Covid-19 restrictions: Scarborough borough is made an 'area of concern' by Government after surge in cases

Residents in Scarborough borough have been warned significant, focussed, and united effort is required if they are to avoid local lockdowns and restrictions.

Friday, 18th September 2020, 1:12 pm
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 1:15 pm

This afternoon the borough, and Selby, were added to the national Covid watch list as "areas of concern".

Local leaders have cautioned over the human and economic cost if the infection rate is not stopped in its tracks.

Responding to the national announcement, North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF) chairman, Richard Flinton, said the whole of the county needs to act.

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He said: “We want people living across North Yorkshire and York to be able to go about their lives but we are asking they do that with a heightened awareness of the risks and while taking on some simple precautionary measures to protect themselves and everyone else.

“We are doing everything it is possible for us to do to keep the county’s residents, communities and businesses out of more serious lockdown measures and we are asking everyone to help so we can protect our freedoms.

“Despite our efforts we have two areas now designated of concern due to the continued and growing infection rates there. I do not believe for one minute anyone wants the sort of restrictions we are seeing in other areas of the country, but only the personal choices everyone makes, every day, can turn the tide.

“If there is not a mammoth effort by everyone to be extra vigilant and to stick rigidly to the guidance, we have serious concerns that it will cost us all dearly and the way we go about our daily lives will inevitably be impacted further.

“Please help us prevent more deaths, help us keep our schools open for the sake of our children and young people, help us support the economy and keep businesses operating. Do the right thing now and every day and don’t let the sacrifices made by so many of you already, be for nothing.”

Mike Greene, chief executive, Scarborough Borough Council also urged people to follow the guidelines.

He said: “Despite the fact our borough is now on the government watch list, Filey, Whitby and Scarborough will remain safe, so long as we all do our bit to minimise the virus spreading.

“Now is the time for everyone to be extra vigilant by taking greater precautions over and above the national guidelines. I urge you to follow the local advice issued by our public health colleagues.

“We worked closely with residents and businesses during lockdown and I am confident we can pull together once more. We have been here before. We can do it again.

“If everyone plays their part, we can avoid a return to the restrictions we experienced earlier in the year.”

The Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire says taking additional measures is vital now.

Speaking following today’s announcement, Dr Lincoln Sargeant said: “In light of the escalating community infection rates in these areas, and the very real threat to some of our residents who are prone to severe illness if they contract the virus, I am asking everyone to step up their vigilance.

“We are seeing infections rise in our care settings and we must all protect those most at risk from the more severe medical impacts of Covid-19.

“So please alongside the hands, face, space guidance – wear a face covering outdoors and avoid crowded areas where social distancing is difficult. Please encourage your friends and family to follow suit.

“We ask you to restrict social contacts outside of household or support bubbles. By doing this now you will help avoid wider measures which could impact on schools, jobs and local businesses.

“To shops, pubs and restaurants I ask you step up your Covid-19 security, for example, with hand sanitiser provided at entry to, and within, buildings; strict limitations on the numbers of people inside a building at any one time; and one-way systems – where they are not already in place. Ensure you are rigorous in collecting contacts from customers.

“Event organisers please re-think any indoor or outdoor events that involve more than 30 people; to care settings please continue to ensure that you limit agency staff usage and/or only use the same agency staff and stop any sharing of staff between care homes. We must all play our part now.”