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Council responds to national announcement

Published Monday, 5 April 2021

City of York Council has welcomed the announcement from the Prime Minister today, 5 April, that from 12 April the country can move to the next stage of the roadmap and continue to safely reopen.

The changes mean that from 12 April:

  • non-essential retail can reopen
  • outdoor hospitality is allowed
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons can resume
  • libraries, community centres and indoor leisure facilities can reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups)
  • the rule of 6 or 2 households still applies and we can only spend time with those we don’t live with outside

Restrictions remain in place, which means you'll still need to sanitise your hands, wear face coverings in shops or indoors and keep socially distanced; hands, face, space.

The council is continuing to support local businesses and has prepared for the next stage of lockdown rule easing on 12 April. Extra measures introduced in the city will include:

  • the installation of temporary public toilets, additional litter bins and additional cleaning taking place in the city centre
  • extending the COVID Marshalls programme until the end of June
  • submitting planning applications required for temporary managed outdoor spaces to help people see friends and family safely
  • making it easier for people to get tested;

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

We welcome today’s announcement, which will see us be able to return to many of the places we love.

“It has been made possible by our collective efforts over the past few months and we are hugely grateful to residents and businesses for their commitment to keeping our city safe. As a city we have proven time and time again that we look after each other and as well as saving lives, our efforts will now see us take steps back to normality as businesses begin reopening. Our local businesses need our support now more than ever, so I would urge everyone to shop local and visit the many fantastic shops and unique hospitality businesses we have all missed.

“Whilst this is hugely positive news we can’t afford to be complacent. The virus is still here and a lot of the population are yet to have the vaccine. We all have a role to play in keeping the people we love safe and the places we love open. Please remember hands, face, space and meet your friends and family outdoors in the fresh air.

“As a council we are still here to support residents and businesses who need our help. We are well aware some businesses are still unable to reopen and will work to process grants to them as quickly as possible. Our community hubs are still there to support residents who need it on 01904 551550 or by emailing covid19help@york.gov.uk.”

Fiona Phillips, Assistant director of Public Health said:

In recent months we have all made huge sacrifices to protect our friends and families and the wider community and I want to say thank you.

“These changes mean we can get back to some of the things we have missed a lot, including hairdressers and our fantastic leisure, hospitality and retail businesses which make the city such a special place. We are working closely with businesses and our partners, who have been incredible throughout this pandemic, to prepare the city for the wider reopening and make sure protective measures are in place to keep people safe.

“Whilst enjoying seeing friends and families again we must keep up with hands, face, space and only meet people we don’t live with outdoors. Coronavirus is still present in our communities and we don’t want to waste the efforts and progress we have made over the past few months. COVID loves a crowd so please avoid them where you can and wear a face covering in busy public spaces and in our retail settings.

“We know from first-hand experience that this virus can spread incredibly quickly. We still have a way to go to get our lives back to where we want them to be but if we all keep up with hands, face, space, fresh air and answer the call to get the vaccine when it comes there is real hope that the next few months will be better.”