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City of York Council urges people to follow social distancing advice and sends a message to visitors

Published Monday, 23 March 2020

One week on from the first COBRA meeting (Held on Monday 16 March), City of York Council are reinforcing the Government’s message that we all need to play our part in helping fight COVID-19.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

“We can only beat Covid-19 if we all work together.

“I am urging everyone, young and old, to act on the government’s advice and stay at home unless absolutely essential.  This is important now more than ever, as cases continue to rise and the NHS is pushed to capacity. Doctors, nurses and medical staff are doing an amazing job up and down the country, and we all need to play our part to help them.

“Unfortunately we have been made aware of fraudsters taking advantage of the current situation. They may be offering advice, treatment, setting up websites for donations etc. If you suspect what you have seen is a scam, please check our dedicated web page and don’t let anyone scare or pressure you into making an urgent decision.

“Once again, I am urging people to stay at home unless necessary, for food, medicine or exercise. The Council has closed the Bar Walls until further notice to protect resident’s safety and ensure we can stay 2m apart.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism:

“It is imperative that we do what we can to protect the health and safety of residents. Part of this is asking people that were planning a trip to York, to instead take a tour of our city online from their homes. Take a virtual stroll down the shambles by shopping online, see York’s past by looking at Explore’s image archive and live stream our stunning performers and artists from the comfort of your home

“We welcome 8.2m visitors a year in York, and we know people across the UK had plans to visit us in the coming weeks.  For our local healthcare system and the wellbeing of our residents, please put your trip to York on hold."

City of York Council is here to support all York residents through this difficult time. If you, or someone you know is on their own and you don’t have support, but need it because of COVID-19 - email:, or telephone: 01904 551550.

We are very grateful for all of the offers of donations of food from businesses and groups. We’re working to distribute food items to the most in need as soon as possible. Any businesses or groups who are looking to donate food should contact  Please do not take food to the hospital.  We are distributing food on behalf of the city.