North Yorkshire’s leaders are appealing to each and every person in the county to “play their part” from today ahead of a new national lockdown and to show restraint tonight before the start of the regulations tomorrow.
Superintendent Mike Walker, gold commander for North Yorkshire Police’s response to Covid-19 said: “We must all do what we can to stem the tide of infection. We are in a really serious position now and so we must pull together to save lives. We should resist the temptation to gather together tonight ahead of the lockdown and jeopardise people’s safety.
“Even from today people should maintain a safe social distance, wash hands, wear a facemask in public venues or crowded outdoor spaces and refrain from household mixing.
“We know as the public of North Yorkshire what we need to do in this lockdown. We have done it once before and we can do it again”
He said North Yorkshire Police would be putting out extra patrols to ensure public compliance with the regulations and would be applying the four Es – engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing.
He added: “North Yorkshire Police will continue to do everything within our power to keep the people of North Yorkshire safe. We know the majority of the public will join us and follow the rules. Those who do not, and who put the vulnerable among us at risk, should fully expect police to take action against them.
North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF) Chair, Richard Flinton, said everybody had a part to play in helping to drive down the level of infection across the county.
He also urged people to support local businesses through the new national lockdown and to make every effort to buy local, as people did in the first lockdown back in the spring.
He said: “This will be a very difficult and challenging time for business and so I would urge people to pull together as Team North Yorkshire, as they have done throughout this pandemic and look out for local business and support them as much as possible.
“When we are thinking of Christmas and retail opportunities let’s think about businesses in North Yorkshire first.
Richard Flinton, who is also chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said the county council’s Buy Local website was a good place to start. He stated: “We have more than 800 North Yorkshire businesses registered on that site, so there is something for everybody.
“Let’s help our local firms and each other and keep up a positive attitude to get through this next lockdown.
“Everyone has done well to prevent and contain the virus locally but we are now at a tipping point.
“As well as being important for business, it is crucial for people who live in care and for all of us who use the NHS. We want to protect people in care homes from the virus and, also, to ensure they can see their loved ones; and we want NHS services to be available for people who need other urgent and planned care, aside from treatment for Covid-19.
“Collectively we can make a difference and help bring about considerably reduced rates of coronavirus infection.”