North Yorkshire families urged to keep up fight against Covid during half-term holidays

As the school half-term break arrives, families are urged to keep up the great effort to bring down the Covid-19 infection rate and not to be tempted to head to the countryside or coast.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 11:16 am

The appeal comes after figures reveal that more than 1,000 people have now died from Covid-19 in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF), which brings together councils, emergency services and health organisations to tackle the pandemic, is urging people to explore their local areas during the break and not to travel to visit the county’s national parks during half-term, not to travel to the dales, moors or coast for walks or other activities and not to mix indoors with people outside their household.

North Yorkshire Police has emphasised that officers will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who flout them.

People are being asked to resist travelling to beauty spots like Sandsend, from outside the area, in the battle against Covid.

Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “There is no room for complacency.

"Infection rates are coming down, but only very slowly, so no-one should be lulled into a false sense of security.

“One in three people carry Covid-19 with no symptoms, so even if you feel fine you might be carrying the infection and be able to spread it.

"Don’t take that risk by travelling miles from your home to the coast or countryside.

Residents are being urged not to take any unnecessary travel risks over the half-term break, in the ongoing battle against Covid.

“Stick with the fabulous efforts we have seen from so many people throughout the pandemic, keep doing the right thing and we can keep the numbers heading in the right direction – downwards.”

Richard Flinton, chairman of NYLRF, said he knew this lockdown felt like a slog and people were feeling weary from the restrictions.

“With the arrival of half-term, many families will struggle with how to entertain children not at school or involved in remote learning," he said.

"It may be tempting to mix with friends or head to the coast or dales. Please don’t – the risk is not worth taking.

"Think of the 1,006 people who have died from Covid-19 in our county and please keep going, keep sticking to the rules, keep protecting your family and your community.

“There is real hope via the vaccination programme. There is light for us to head towards.”

Superintendent Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police lead for the force’s Covid response, said he and his colleagues were working around the clock to try to prevent as many people as possible from experiencing the heartache of Covid - and promised police "would not hesitate" to take enforcement action against those who openly flout the rules.

“Half term holidays are fast approaching and after juggling the stresses and strains of working from home and home-schooling, there may be the temptation to get out of the house and take a family day trip to the coast, or visit a Dales beauty spot.," he said.

"But now is not the time.

"Take your daily exercise, but stay local to your town or village and don’t drive multiple miles to access open spaces, when you can take exercise from your doorstep.

“Officers will be patrolling and we will be visiting popular tourist spots. We will be proactive in engaging with members of the public, asking the reason for their journey and we will take enforcement action if anyone is outside their home without a reasonable excuse.”

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