City of York Council is urging residents to help support the city’s businesses by shopping local during the half term holidays, whilst staying safe and following the latest guidelines.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning said:
“York’s businesses need support to survive, and shopping local will enable them to be around in the long term to keep York the place that it is.

“There’s no denying that current restrictions impact daily life in many ways, that being said York’s businesses have made tremendous steps to implement safety features to respond to guidance on the current situation.”

“If we all follow the guidelines, we can protect the people and places we love whilst supporting our local economy and recognising some of the fantastic work that staff in local businesses have done to support us all over the previous months.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health, said:
“Whilst these new restrictions do place extra pressure on residents and businesses it is vital that we work together as a city and follow them straight away. This is our best opportunity to help slow the spread of the virus, and ultimately save lives.

“We know that the virus spreads largely indoors, through social contact and a lack of social distancing. Therefore it is vital that people follow these tier 2 guidelines and enjoy York in a safe and controlled way. This includes stopping indoor mixing of households and socially distancing which if followed will hopefully see the number of cases in the city reduce.

“We must continue to wash our hands regularly, observe social distancing and wear face coverings in busy places.

“Please make sure you are familiar with the symptoms. Self-isolate if you show any of them, and book a test straight away. If you need advice or help, please visit www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus or call our help line 01904 551550.”

Johnny Hayes, Chair of Indie York, said:
“York is a City of independents with over 65 percent of businesses in the City being independently run. This really helps to makes York to be such a unique place. These businesses need the support of local people to help them to survive. Shopping local is good for the local economy and sense of local community.

This half term Indie York is running Treasure Trails around many of York’s Independent businesses to attract lots of people to the city but in a way that allows for safe distancing. People can visit the businesses shop windows and every business is set up to provide Covid safe environment if you chose to shop or have a meal. 
Visit www.indieyork.co.uk for more information.”

The tier 2 restrictions include:
•    You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
•    You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so you must not meet in a group of more than 6.
•    Visiting indoor hospitality/leisure/retail settings is restricted to one household i.e. two households must not meet in these settings (unless those two households are in a support bubble).
•    People are advised only to visit care homes in exceptional circumstances. Please contact the care home you want to visit before attending, to check the latest information and make arrangements.
•    People should only travel for essential reasons.
•    You can still go on holiday outside of your area, but you should only do this with people you live with, or have formed a support bubble with (dependant on any local restrictions in the area you are visiting).
•    People can play a team sport only where this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation, and sports-governing body guidance has been issued.
•    People should not attend amateur or professional sporting events as a spectators.
•    Wedding receptions and celebrations can continue for up to 15 people in the form of a sit-down meal and in a Covid-secure setting, not in a private dwelling.
•    Up to 30 people can attend a funeral, and 15 for a wake in a Covid-secure setting, not in a private dwelling.

To learn more about the new measures and what support is available, please visit www.york.gov.uk/Coronavirus