North Yorkshire could be moved into Tier 2 Covid restrictions, along with all of Yorkshire, 'to end confusion'
North Yorkshire could be moved into the “High” risk Tier 2 restrictions so that it mirrors the rest of Yorkshire, it has been revealed.
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, North Yorkshire’s director of public health, said today that having all of Yorkshire and the Humber in the same Tier would make it easier for people to understand.
West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and York are all currently in Tier 2 restrictions whereas North Yorkshire, East Riding and Hull are Tier 1.
North Yorkshire’s seven-day rolling infection rate is 129.0, well below the average for England which stands at 157.
Dr Sargeant told a meeting of the North Yorkshire Outbreak Management Advisory Board today that moving all of Yorkshire to the same restrictions would help stop outbreaks in care homes and end confusion.
He said: “There is an active discussion going on about whether Yorkshire and Humber, particularly those of us in the Yorkshire Coast and Vale area should move together into Tier 2.
“There is certainly discussion both from a public health point of view but also soundings from a political point of view as to how we move.
“There some reasons for moving together. One is around consistency, there has been quite a number of questions around issues with borders, particularly in North Yorkshire as around us we have areas in Tier 2 [and] people do travel to work across the border.
“There is also concern around the potential impact on the care home sector, on infections translation into cases impacting on the older and more vulnerable population.
“So there is an argument for all of us [to move into Tier 2] as I think it didn’t take very long for York [to move up].
“For York, I think the student population there would have been a factor but some of the Humber, particularly the South Bank of the Humber, their rates have taken off quickly. Hull, which currently has the lowest seven-day rate, is beginning to see major care home outbreaks.
“So there is some argument for moving into more restrictions.
“Clearly the trade-off there is about the hospitality sector, the impact on the reputation of North Yorkshire and to what extent do we have strong evidence that the Tier 2 restrictions, and there is reasonable evidence, will slow the rise in the rate of cases and how sustainable that is and over what period the restrictions will need to be maintained is also an issue.”
Dr Sargeant said that hospitality and leisure are “vital” to North Yorkshire’s economy and would be considered in any decision.
In Tier 2 restrictions households are banned from mixing indoors and care home visits are restricted to “exceptional” cases.
No date was given for when any potential changes to the tiers in the county could be made.