North Yorkshire set to learn post-lockdown Covid-19 tier next week

Residents in North Yorkshire could find out what their post-lockdown lives will look like as soon as next Wednesday.

The current restrictions are due to end on December 2 with the government proposing a new, revamped tier system for the run-up to Christmas.

The new tiers are likely to be tougher than those in place before the lockdown was brought in earlier this month after health officials said that the previous Tier 1 restrictions, which allowed households to mix, did not slow the spread of the virus.

North Yorkshire had been in Tier 1 before the second lockdown.

At a meeting of North Yorkshire’s Outbreak Management Advisory Board on Thursday, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, North Yorkshire’s director of public health, said that there had been indications that the route out of lockdown would be announced next week.

Dr Sargeant said: “I am told that the announcement of tiers and what levels we might be moving into will be announced next week, with a tentative date of [Wednesday] November 25 I’m told.

“Discussions are ongoing with the Secretary of State and others so we would hope to hear what the triggers and criteria might be for those tiers and what the restrictions might be in each of them.”

Dr Sargeant said that there was still no indication how the tiers would be applied and if it would be on a district-wide or a county-wide level.

Scarborough currently has an infection rate of 457 per 100,000 people, while North Yorkshire’s other six districts are around the England average of 260.

Dr Sargeant said: “Before lockdown, Scarborough had the lowest levels in the county, and understandably felt they should not be going into a higher level of restrictions with areas like Harrogate and Craven which were highest at that point.

“I think we now see the situation reversed and how quickly it can change in small districts.”

He added: “My understanding is that the general appetite has been to do this over larger areas rather than smaller areas.”

Scarborough Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Liz Colling, said she would prefer to see the restrictions implemented on a district-wide level but would like to see what the national restrictions are first.

Cllr Colling added: “We do have a lot of people who travel into Ryedale and York for education and York so I would like to see the restrictions first but my preference is for a district [level].”