Scarborough an 'area of concern' - Here's what that means and what you are asked to do

Scarborough borough, along with Selby, were today made coronavirus "areas of concern" by the Government.

Friday, 18th September 2020, 1:20 pm
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 3:26 pm

North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF) chairman, Richard Flinton, said the whole of the county needs to act.

He said: “We want people living across North Yorkshire and York to be able to go about their lives but we are asking they do that with a heightened awareness of the risks and while taking on some simple precautionary measures to protect themselves and everyone else.

“If there is not a mammoth effort by everyone to be extra vigilant and to stick rigidly to the guidance, we have serious concerns that it will cost us all dearly and the way we go about our daily lives will inevitably be impacted further.

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“Please help us prevent more deaths, help us keep our schools open for the sake of our children and young people, help us support the economy and keep businesses operating. Do the right thing now and every day and don’t let the sacrifices made by so many of you already, be for nothing.”

Scarborough and Whitby's MP Robert Goodwill said the announcement was a "warning" to people in the area that if infection levels are not reduced, they could end up with much tighter restrictions such as those imposed in the North East.

"Everybody needs to play their part to comply with social distancing rules such as the rule of six, washing hands and staying at a safe distance," he said.

"That goes for younger people in particular who maybe don't see themselves as being at risk but who can bring the disease back home to elderly people or people with pre-existing conditions."

An Area of Concern is the first level of intervention in a three-step process. It means that Government agencies are working more closely with NYLRF and local communities to try to prevent, contain and reduce the spread of the virus.

Unlike Areas of Intervention or Areas of Enhanced Support, an Area of Concern does not face additional lockdown requirements at this stage so long as people act to contain and reduce the spread of the virus.

People living in Scarborough and Selby areas are now being asked to take the following measures:

Exercise extra vigilance in sticking rigorously to hand hygiene and social distancing guidance;

Use face coverings when leaving home while community infection levels are increasing and avoid crowds;

Stick to the ‘rule of six’;

Take extra care when leaving home if you have an underlying health condition or have been advised to shield;

If you have Covid symptoms, you must get a test. Isolate until you get a test and persist in trying to book one if you are experiencing difficulties.

If you do not have symptoms, do not get a test, unless directed to do so. Priority is being given to those with symptoms.

The Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire Dr Lincoln Sargeant said: “Alongside the hands, face, space guidance – wear a face covering outdoors and avoid crowded areas where social distancing is difficult. Please encourage your friends and family to follow suit.

“We ask you to restrict social contacts outside of household or support bubbles. By doing this now you will help avoid wider measures which could impact on schools, jobs and local businesses.

“We must all play our part now.”