Police and council urge people to stay at home over weekend: "Stay focussed on what we need to do to get through this as a county"

As the weekend draws near, North Yorkshire Police are again asking to public to continue to stay home and not to jeopardise the ‘green shoots’ which are starting to be seen nationally, thanks to the public adhering to the last four weeks of isolation and distancing.

By Steve Bambridge
Friday, 17th April 2020, 5:23 pm
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 5:23 pm

Commenting on the continuing police approach, Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker said: “We heard the news from the Government this week that, thanks to the public listening to the stay home advice, there are indications that the spread of Covid-19 is slowing.

"However, it was also made clear that the fight against this virus is not over and to push the rate of infection down further, three more weeks of lockdown have been announced.

“We understand that asking people to continue to stay at home is challenging, especially at weekends when the weather is good. We know that it’s tempting for those who live outside of North Yorkshire to get into the car to visit the region and enjoy our open spaces or coast line.

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A deserted Foreshore Road in Scarborough

"However, if you choose to ignore the advice and travel unnecessarily, you are putting the benefits we are beginning to see, thanks to the sacrifices made by millions over the past weeks, at risk.

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“If we continue to follow the guidance to stay home, we will continue to see a slowing in the spread of Covid-19, meaning the virus will be beaten all the sooner. That’s why we are again asking residents of North Yorkshire and those who live outside the area, but love to visit, to please work with us and stay home this weekend.

“Our task remains unchanged and we will be continuing our high-visibility patrols and engaging, explaining and encouraging members of the public to continue to follow the guidance.

"The recent guidance issued to forces by the CPS regarding what constitutes a reasonable journey still requires police officers to use their judgement and discretion to assess each situation.

“This is not about trying to find justification for a day out or loopholes to side step the advice. The truth is stark – if you do travel further than you absolutely have to, you are risking the spread of the virus, your own lives and that of others.

“So please, continue with what you have already been doing and stay home, so we can beat this pandemic together and allow life to return to normal as quickly as possible.”

Richard Flinton, Chair of North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum and Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council , said: “I am sure that the extended period of lockdown announced yesterday by Government has not come as a surprise to anyone and although many people are finding this really tough, the heart-warming level of compliance in North Yorkshire is giving us some reason to hope.

"Although we are absolutely not out of the woods – far from it – we are not seeing the surge in demand for critical care beds that some other areas have seen and our health and social care services are coping, despite this unprecedented challenge.

"Together your support and the strong multiagency management of emergencies we have here are making a difference and we are saving lives.

"Don’t lose sight of that in the weeks ahead. I urge you to stay focussed on what we need to do to get through this as a county in the best possible shape to face the future.

"Remember we are all in this together and it is by sticking together we will fight this terrible virus and be able to enjoy our families, friends and work colleagues and beautiful county properly again.”