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Keeping the city safe this weekend

Published Friday, 19 June 2020

As York residents look forward to the first weekend of more businesses opening, City of York Council is encouraging everyone to support local businesses and most importantly, stay safe this weekend.

Following guidance announced by the government, this week has seen an increase of businesses opening their door for the first time in over 3 months. As the city embraces this next phase of recovery, the council has taken key steps to ensure businesses and residents are supported to enjoy the city safely.

All four Chief Medical Officers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland today announced that the UK will reduce its COVID-19 alert level from Level 4 to Level 3, to show that the virus remains is in general circulation, but is no longer rising exponentially. This a reassurance that the measures in place across our cities and businesses are slowing the spread of the virus, but this also reminds us that it is still necessary to continue our collective efforts to ensure this progress continues.

Residents can view the latest government FAQs online, to read more information on gatherings, outdoor activities and ‘support bubbles’ for single adult household.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said;

The health and safety of our residents and visitors is our key priority and I would encourage everyone must follow the national guidance. 

"I would like to thank all our residents and partners who have worked together to slow the spread of Coronavirus and support our local businesses community.

“As we take the next steps in the recovery phase, residents can find out how we are supporting local businesses and how they can have their say in how we build back better.  Please visit to find out what steps we are taking and more details about our ‘Big Conversation’ and how residents can get involved will be released soon.”

Support local businesses

Residents are encouraged to shop local this weekend, as more businesses reopen and to remember to follow government social distancing guidance to continue to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Around the city’s centre and secondary shopping centres, such as Acomb and Haxby, residents will find social distancing prompts and floor stickers; hygiene reminders; adapted public toilets and signage for businesses, such as maximum numbers in store at any one time. Whilst we’ve made some changes to the way people move around the city wearing a face covering in places you can’t socially distance can help prevent the spread of the virus.

York's recovery plan has public health at its heart; minimising infection and supporting those at risk remains the highest priority.

Businesses planning to reopen can download a free recovery toolkit from the council’s website to support them in reopening. Visit to find out more.

Get outside

As Government guidance permits outdoor activities such as exercise, picnics and socialising, whilst socially distanced, we know it’s important to get outside to help boost your physical and mental wellbeing. Please remember not to gather with groups of more than six people from outside your household and try and limit the number of people they see over short periods of time, in order to stop the spread of the virus.

As more routine council services resume, from Friday 19 June, the locking of some York parks will recommence, as had been usual practice prior to lockdown.  From Friday 19 June, volunteers and security will resume opening and locking West Bank Park and Glen Gardens. Rowntree Park locking will also resume soon, with more information to be publicised through social media.

Opening and closing times for each park have not changed and will be as advertised on signage within the parks.