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City leaders' open letter to residents

Published Friday, 8 January 2021

Dear Resident

As you will know, England has now entered another period of lockdown, which is anticipated to last until at least mid-February.  We know how difficult this will be for so many of you and would like to thank you for all you have already done in such difficult circumstances.  In the face of adversity, you have demonstrated the very best of our city.

Throughout last year, local residents and businesses worked hard to keep cases the lowest in the region and together, we reduced the spread of the virus.  However, the beginning of 2021 has created a new challenge with the spread of the new variant of Coronavirus, and once again we must adapt.

This is not the start to the new year any of us wanted, but many of us may have anticipated.  In recent weeks, across the country and including here in York, there has been an alarming increase in the number of positive cases.  We all need to follow the new national guidance to save lives and protect the NHS.  Time and time again, the people and businesses of York have demonstrated our community spirit and we must now do so again to keep those we love safe.

We fully recognise that this third lockdown will be difficult for everyone.  We will continue to do everything we can to support residents and businesses through this difficult time by adapting our services, providing support and information, or lobbying the government for additional help for lower income families or businesses who are not covered by the grants available. 

Anyone who has been affected by coronavirus and who needs support can contact us on 01904 551550 or covid19help@york.gov.uk

Support is available for businesses who have had to close, including hospitality, retail and leisure businesses.  There is also support available for residents including those who have to self-isolate.  Details about our support is available at www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus.

This is a tough period for us all, however, with the vaccine roll out underway there is hope on the horizon. For now, we need to look after ourselves and each other. 

We know we can get through this.  We did it before and we can do it again. 

We are incredibly grateful for all you have done already and on behalf of the city, thank you for all you are doing to reduce the spread of the virus.

Stay safe and best wishes,

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council
Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader
Ian Floyd, Chief Operating Officer