With many people looking forward to an extended break over the Easter period, City of York Council is urging people to enjoy the time safely and responsibly.
The changes to national restrictions on Monday 29 March mean that people can now meet in groups of up to 6, or 2 households can meet, including in private gardens; and take part in outdoor organised sports and supervised childcare activities for children outdoors.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:
Many of us have been looking forward to seeing family and friends again, and the Easter break gives us the chance to catch up outdoors. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of seeing loved ones but it’s so important that we don’t let our guard down and continue to follow ‘Hands, Face, Space’.
“We know this has been an incredibly hard year for us all but if we keep working together, we will soon be able to get back to doing the things we have missed and seeing the people we love. We have come a long way in York and we want to keep our city safe as we start to move out of lockdown. As we have done throughout the pandemic, let’s look out for each other and stay safe.”
With many outdoor ‘meets’ likely over the coming weeks, the council is reminding people to act responsibly and take their litter home with them, or dispose of it in designated waste bins. Face coverings should be disposed of carefully in a litter bin. The authority’s ‘Don’t be a tosser’ campaign sends a clear message reminding people to people to put their litter in the bin or take it home with them, helping to keep the city’s parks and open spaces pleasant and safe for everyone to enjoy.
Thanks to the continued efforts of residents, businesses and visitors, Infection rates in the city remain comparatively low.
The latest official validated rate of new COVID cases for the period 20 March 2021 to 26 March 2021 was 29.9 per 100,000 of the population. The national and regional averages at this date were 54.9 per 100,000 and 112.4 per 100,000 respectively (using data published on GOV.UK on 31 March 2021).
As at 30 March 2021 a total of 92,113 York residents have had the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. This represents 43.7% of the estimated total population of York and 52.9% of the estimated adult population of York (those over 18 years of age).
As at 30 March 2021 a total of 9,857 York residents have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine. This represents 4.7% of the estimated total population of York and 5.7% of the estimated adult population of York.
And it will soon be even easier for residents and those working in the city to get symptom free tests with the opening of York’s fourth symptom-free coronavirus testing site at Foxwood Community Centre, from Monday 12 April.
Symptom free tests are available for anyone secondary school or college age and above. Symptom-free coronavirus testing can be booked online at any of the York sites, or by calling 01904 551559.
Residents will also be able to collect home testing kits from the new site from 12 April, as well as the existing sites at University of York, York St John University and the York Leisure Centre at the York Stadium Leisure Complex. Bookings can be made now to collect kits from Tuesday 7 April. Visit the council website to see information on booking the collection of or home testing kits, or call telephone: 01904 551559 to arrange a collection.
The council is also reminding residents who have been shielding that help is still available after the end of the national shielding programme on 1 April.
Fiona Phillips, the council’s Assistant Director of Public Health, said:
We know that the end of shielding will bring mixed feelings for many. I want to reassure anyone who’s worried about how they will cope that our community hubs are still able to help anyone who needs it, whether that’s simply someone to talk to, or help collecting essentials.
“We can all continue to help supporting one another. Remembering Hands, Face, Space and getting tested regularly really does make a difference in our ongoing fight against COVID.”
If you're struggling to manage, or you don't have any support, but need it because of COVID-19, the Council is there to help you through this difficult time. Contact us by email: email@example.com or telephone: 01904 551550.