Pubs and restaurants causing ‘very few’ Covid-19 outbreaks in North Yorkshire

Pubs, bars and restaurants have caused "very few" coronavirus outbreaks in North Yorkshire, a health boss has said.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 10:32 am
Updated Thursday, 15th October 2020, 10:36 am

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, the county's director of public health, told a briefing that schools and workplaces had also been responsible for few infections - and the main source of spread was households.

“We have had very, very few instances of pubs where there have been outbreaks and spread to customers," he said. "It has largely been staff members that we have picked up.

“The predominant spread in North Yorkshire is between households."

Dr Lincoln Sargeant: “We have had very, very few instances of pubs where there have been outbreaks."

Indoor venues have long been considered particularly vulnerable to the spreading of the virus.

However, the government has repeatedly been challenged to present the scientific evidence behind the decision to the 10pm curfew for the hospitality industry.

A Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) report from September said "curfews are likely to have a marginal impact", although it said it only had "low confidence" in that conclusion.

The early closing for pubs, bars and restaurants was brought in following a spike in cases across England in September.

Other measures include mandatory table service and the use of face masks whenever a customer is not at their table.

Pub and restaurant owners in Harrogate have complained that the measures have significantly reduced their income and warned it could lead to "devastating" closures.

North Yorkshire has been placed in Tier 1 of the government's new local lockdown system introduced this week.

It means the county continues to follow only national measures, including the rule of six and 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter