North Yorkshire residents warned it could be a long journey back to Tier 1

Residents in North Yorkshire have been warned that it could be a “long journey” to get the county into Tier 1 restrictions.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 12:01 pm

Today, York and North Yorkshire started its first day in Tier 2, High Alert, restrictions which place curbs on household mixing.

The county’s infection rate now stands at 107 cases per 100,000 people, below the average for England which is currently 154.

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for Health and Social Care, told a meeting of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum this morning that the hard work to keep rates down had to continue.

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Residents are being advised it could be a long road from tier 2 to tier 1, with Christmas looming.

He said: “It is very good news that we have come out of lockdown and I am pleased and relieved that we are in Tier 2 as last week, I wasn’t sure if some parts of the county could be in Tier 3.

“We need to continue to work really hard to stay at Tier 2 and hopefully reduce in due course to Tier 1.

“The advice we are getting from the chief medical officer [Chris Whitty] and others is that it might be quite a long journey to get out of Tier 2 into Tier 1.

“I know there will be some parts of the county that will be very anxious to see that change.”

North Yorkshire’s director of Public Health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, said that the three areas in Tier 1 have infection rates below 50 which gives some indication of what the government is looking for when it makes decisions about which tier to place an area into.

Dr Sargeant also said that an increase in infection rates over Christmas was “inevitable” when the virus will spread more easily when up to three households can come together.

He added: “He said: “For North Yorkshire, the rates are sufficiently high that the districts could see a sudden spike as we saw in Scarborough.

"Those conditions still remain volatile in that respect.

“What we have to be careful of is that we don’t lose momentum and people think we have come out of lockdown and drop their guard.”

Dr Sargeant added that while it was a decision for Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock, the current rate of decline in the county may not be enough to get out of Tier 2 in a fortnight’s time.

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