York should come out of lockdown and go straight into the most relaxed tier of restrictions.
That’s the view of Julian Sturdy, York Outer MP – and he has shared it with government ministers.
Mr Sturdy said: “The restrictions tier York emerges into must clearly reflect the virus level in York.
“With our city’s per 100,000 infection rate now at 176.6 – whereas we were around 279 when we went into tier 2 (high alert) pre-renewed lockdown – I believe we should come out straight into tier 1 (medium alert), with careful, distanced indoor mixing of households allowed once again.”
His comments came after he had quizzed ministers about their approach.
At Cabinet Office questions, Conservative Mr Sturdy asked: “With covid cases in York now well below the level at which the city went into tier 2, can the Minister reassure me that they are listening closely to the feedback and case numbers they are receiving from city authorities?
“And that York’s restrictions from the 2 December will be based on the local virus situation and local judgement, and not decisions imposed from central government, and also are not based on wider regional figures?”
Cabinet Office Minister Penny Mordaunt responded: “First of all, can I acknowledge the immense sacrifices that people in York and elsewhere round the country are making, and what people are having to endure.
“As the Prime Minister has made clear, the current restrictions will end on 2 December, and then we will return to a local and tiered approach, and of course the government will work with the honourable gentleman and other local leaders in the area to determine what is the most appropriate response, and of course we will, as we have previously, be tailoring any tiers that people have to go into, depending on what is needed locally.”
Mr Sturdy said he was reassured by the commitment to listen to local leaders, given “the hard graft and painful sacrifices made by York residents to get virus cases down”.