Julian voices concerns as York enters ‘high’ Covid alert level
October 15, 2020
Julian has today voiced his concerns after the Government announced that York would join much of the rest of the North in the second tier of Covid-19 restrictions. The change will mean that people will be prevented from socialising indoors with people from outside of their household or support bubble, with potentially severe consequences for the local hospitality industry.
Commenting on the Government’s decision, Julian said:
“I very much share the Government’s concern about the rising case numbers in York and it is vital that appropriate steps are taken to prevent a spike in hospital admissions and the resultant strain on local health services. The restrictions announced today will come into effect at midnight on Friday and it is important that all York residents and business are familiar with and follow the new rules.
I was however disappointed not to get a satisfactory explanation of the Government’s reasoning and would like to have seen the detailed breakdown of the data that has led to this decision. From the information that I have available it seems clear that the rise in cases is being driven by York’s two universities, with the Fulford and Heslington ward alone accounting for one in five positive tests. It remains unclear however what the transmission rate is in the wider community. I would need to see clear evidence that this is worsening before I could endorse tightening restrictions, with serious implications for our hospitality industry city-wide. This decision should not be taken simply based on the raw numbers, whist running the risk that these are heavily skewed by infection rates in the universities.
I am also seeking clarity from the Government on how this is going to be kept under review and what criteria will need to be met before moving back to the ‘medium’ alert level. I have yet to receive detailed information on this point and greater clarity is needed if we are to avoid the sort of limbo that many other northern cities have been placed in over the last few months.”