Live: Coronavirus – Britain on lockdown

More cases of coronavirus confirmed in York and North Yorkshire

Photographs: Richard McDougall

The number of people with confirmed coronavirus has risen in both York and North Yorkshire.

Official stats from Public Health England today (Friday, 27 March) show there are 17 official cases in York – three more than yesterday.

In North Yorkshire the cases have gone up by 38% – from 50 yesterday to 69 today.

Considering the relatively small number of people being tested, the real figures are likely to be significantly higher.

Here are some more of the key statistics:

  • Total UK cases: 14,543
  • Daily confirmed UK cases: 2,885
  • Total UK deaths: 759
  • Confirmed cases in York: 17
  • Confirmed cases in North Yorkshire: 69
  • Confirmed cases in East Yorkshire: 23

The NHS has 33,000 hospital beds available to treat coronavirus patients, the health service’s boss in England said this evening, as he heralded an “unprecedented response” to tackle the outbreak.

Sir Simon Stevens said that “extraordinary efforts” were being taken, as he confirmed two new field hospitals will be opened in Manchester and Birmingham to swell capacity.

Roomzzz Aparthotel offers free rooms for NHS workers

Roomzzz Aparthotel offers free rooms for NHS workers

The Roomzzz Aparthotel group, which has a hotel in York as well as in Chester, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and London, is offering free rooms for NHS workers.

It says:

  • Our aparthotels are now closed to the general public, but we want to give something back.

    Room nights are valid until 30th April 2020 for NHS staff who need to work away or self isolate.

    You must provide proof of current employment with the NHS. For more info or to book, email reservations@roomzzz.com

No new confirmed coronavirus cases in York – but another rise in North Yorkshire

The official stats for today (Thursday, 26 March) have been released.

This show that York has no new confirmed cases of coronavirus – which stays steady at 14.

There’s been a rise of five cases in North Yorkshire, taking the total to 50.

And there are two more official cases in East Yorkshire, with a total of 21.

As always these figures reflect the fact that very few people are being tested.

First pictures of police vehicle checkpoints in York

Police questioning drivers on Blossom Street. Photographs: NYP York City on Twitter
These photographs show some of the first occasions that York police have exercised their new powers.

Shared by NYP York City on Twitter, the pictures show vehicle checkpoints.

Drivers were asked to stop and account for their journeys on Blossom Street and Castle Mills Bridge, among other locations.

Drivers stopped on Castle Mills Bridge
They are some of the first random checkpoints

Earlier today North Yorkshire Police said they would begin to stop cars to check where people were going.

The measures are to enforce the lockdown and stop the spread of coronavirus.

And if you don’t comply new powers mean you could be fined, be arrested and end up in court.

The message, York police tweeted, was clear: “North Yorkshire Police stopping vehicles to ensure motorists are complying with the restrictions and only making essential journeys. #StayHomeSaveLives”

York City FC makes a statement about the completion of the season

York City FC makes a statement about the completion of the season

Bootham Crescent is closed and the National League North suspended.

This has led to speculation about what will happen to the current season – with York City top of the league.

This from York City today:

  • Although the club doesn’t typically comment on speculation, this is a unique situation.

    We want to clarify that we are yet to receive official information from the National League around completion of the season.

    However, we would like to take this opportunity to assure fans that the club has made a strong case regarding how the season may be brought to a close, in light of York City FC’s position in the league.

The statement said they would keep fans up to date “as and when we receive information”.

Two options under consideration include declaring the whole season null and void, which would be a nightmare. Or promotions decided on a points per game played basis.

If the latter was chosen and two clubs were promoted, York City would be one and Kings Lynn the other.

York Pullman Bus drivers help out by driving council refuse vehicles

Photograph: York Pullman Bus on Twitter

Great work from York Pullman Bus Company and their team.

Three of their workers, Erwin, Nigel and Neil, have the relevant licence to drive refuse vehicles – and they are temporarily joining City of York Council’s team to keep the household waste collection service on the road.

Airbnb sets up a resource centre to answer people’s questions

In York as of February there were 1,479 active Airbnb listings.

So there are a lot of people wondering what to do about their property listed on the travel site.

The company has set up a dedicated web portal with advice and articles like:

  • Coronavirus and our extenuating circumstances policy
  • Answers for Superhosts about the coronavirus
  • and Why it’s smart to offer flexible cancellations right now

Sainsbury’s limits the customers in its stores

Sainsbury's store at Monks Cross in York. Photograph: YorkMix

This from Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe:

“Starting today, we will limit the number of people allowed in our stores and at our ATMs at any one time. We are putting queuing systems in place outside stores and will ask everyone to please queue at a safe distance of 2 metres apart.

“Since we put limits on the number of items people could buy, food and other essential items are on shelves for longer each day so please arrive throughout the day to avoid long queues forming in the morning.

“We are reducing the number of checkouts we open in supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol filling stations to help our colleagues and customers keep a safe distance from each other.


“We are also introducing safety screens at every manned checkout to help keep our colleagues safe when serving customers. We are regularly sanitising all customer areas of our stores including chip and pin machines, baskets and trolleys.

“Please pay by card at the till if you can. If you are unable to pay by card and want to pay by cash, please use our self scan tills which will stay open for cash payments.”

Another rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in York

Photograph: NPS Public Health

The official Covid-19 figures have been updated for Wednesday (25 March) and they show another rise.

All these statistics come with the usual warning that very few people have been tested.

In York, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen from 11 to 14.

And in North Yorkshire the figure has gone up from 30 to 45.

Here are some of the key figures:

  • Total UK cases: 9,529
  • Daily confirmed UK cases: 1,542
  • Total UK deaths: 422
  • Confirmed cases in York: 14
  • Confirmed cases in North Yorkshire: 45
  • Confirmed cases in East Yorkshire: 19

The figures come on the day the first death from coronavirus in the York NHS Trust was confirmed.

Meanwhile, City of York Council has launched a £1m emergency fund for businesses hit by the outbreak.

A new case of coronavirus has been confirmed in York

A self-isolating sign on a window in York. Photograph: Richard McDougall

The latest official figures show a new case of coronavirus has been confirmed in York tonight (Tuesday, 24 March).

That means the total number of cases in the city has reached 11.

And there’s been a sharp rise in the confirmed cases in North Yorkshire – up from 24 yesterday to 30 today.

In East Yorkshire there is no change at 16.

Here are some of the key figures:

  • Total UK cases: 8,077
  • Daily confirmed UK cases: 1,427
  • Total UK deaths: 422
  • Confirmed cases in York: 11
  • Confirmed cases in North Yorkshire: 30

It comes as North Yorkshire Police said they were prepared to use their powers to enforce the new social distancing rules.

Listen: York expert’s advice on preserving your mental health during the crisis

The coronavirus pandemic, the way it has disrupted normal life, and the strict rules on social distancing and isolation mean we’re all feeling added levels of stress and anxiety.

That means our mental health is coming under added strain.

Jorvik Radio has started a mental health podcast, and in the first episode, host Nick Love talks to psychotherapist Rosalie Harrison from The Retreat in York about some key issues affecting our mental health during the current coronavirus situation.

You can listen to their conversation below.

Support York’s Coronavirus Community Fund to help the most in need

City of York Council is urging anyone who would like to offer financial support to others affected by coronavirus to support the Coronavirus Community Fund, set up by the Two Ridings Community Foundation.

The fund has been set up to offer local charitable or community organisations emergency funding to deal with emerging issues as a result of the continuing threat of Covid-19.

Any funds received will be used to help local charitable and community organisations support the people who need it the most.

It will also work to assist people and organisations where there are no current suitable services, in order to maintain some level of viability through these uncertain times.


Shambles Market closed to all but essential fresh food traders

Shambles Market. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Make It York have today announced that the Shambles Market will be closed to all but essential fresh food traders from today (Tuesday, 24 March) until further notice.

The organisation said the change is to ensure public safety and slow the spread of Covid-19, and comes in response to updated government policy announced on Monday.

Make It York said:

  • Special provision will be made for those traders supplying fresh food, with social distancing measures put in place.

    Opening hours are set to be 10am until 5pm and any further updates will be shared on the Shambles Market Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    All measures are under continuous review, and Make It York will follow the advice given from local and national government over the coming days.

Here’s how to donate food in York during the coronavirus outbreak

Photograph: YorkMix

Many kindhearted businesses and individuals can donate food to those in need amid the coronavirus outbreak.

But City of York Council is urging people not to take food to the hospital directly, writes local democracy reporter Chloe Laversuch.

Instead, donations are being organised by a coordinator – so that meals and essential items can get to the vulnerable people who need them most.

A spokesperson for the council said the local authority is very grateful for all the kind offers of food from businesses and groups.

And that work is taking place to distribute items to those most in need as quickly as possible.

If you would like to get involved please email shapingneighbourhoods@york.gov.uk.

York’s city walls are now closed until further notice

York’s city walls are now closed until further notice, writes local democracy reporter Chloe Laversuch.

City of York Council shut the walls yesterday afternoon to help people observe social distancing measures amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Resident Dr Jonathan Fisk said he saw there were lots of people walking along the narrow city walls at the weekend, making it difficult to keep to the government’s social distancing guidance.

He said: “People could not keep a safe distance. The walls need to be closed for the duration.”

‘I welcome this step change’ – York MP urges everyone to #KeepHomeKeepSafe

Rachael Maskell. Photograph: Screengrab

Rachael Maskell has given her response to the lockdown announcement by the Prime Minister.

The York Central MP has called on everyone in York to join her with the message #KeepHomeKeepSafe, after the total of UK coronavirus deaths reached 335.

She said:

  • I have been calling for tight restrictions for some time, and therefore I welcome this step change.

    I know it is really tough, I am finding it tough, but we absolutely have to keep York safe. I appeal to you to stay home unless you absolutely have to go out to work in essential services only, to shop for food and medicine or to exercise alone or with the people you are living with. I want us all to come through this together.

    I thank all those who have been working in the NHS, other front line services and helping in the community. Now it is everyone’s turn to play their part in preventing the spread. We can do it in York – please #KeepHomeKeepSafe.

If you have any issues at all you can email Rachael at rachael.maskell.mp@parliament.uk. She is holding telephone surgeries on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday between 1pm and 8pm, and will call you back to talk about your situation, or deal with your email.

Lockdown: Prime Minister orders people to stay at home – with police fines if you flout rules

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation from 10 Downing Street on Monday night. Photograph: Screengrab

Boris Johnson has placed the UK on lockdown to tackle the coronavirus, threatening police fines for anyone who ignores new measures including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people.

The Prime Minister detailed a short list of reasons why individuals can leave their homes as he ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items on Monday evening.

He ordered people to only leave the house to shop for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible” and to perform one form of exercise a day.

Or they could seek medical help, provide care to a vulnerable person or travel to work if “absolutely necessary”, he said in a televised address from within Downing Street.

“That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home,” he said.

“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

To ensure people follow the rules, Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of non-essential stores including those selling electronics and clothing.


All public gatherings of more than two people – other than those you live with – will be barred, the PM said.

Other premises being shuttered are libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

And, while parks will remain open for exercise, all social events including weddings and baptisms will be stopped. Funerals, however, can continue.

Mr Johnson said the measures will be “under constant review” and will be considered for relaxation in three weeks’ time if the evidence allows.

No new coronavirus cases in York today – but more confirmed in North Yorkshire

The cases today (Monday, 23 March)

There are no new cases of coronavirus confirmed in York today.

The number of people definitely infected with Covid-19 in the city has stayed at ten the latest figures reveal.

However, the number of cases in North Yorkshire has gone up – from 20 to 24.

And there’s one more case in East Yorkshire, taking the total to 16.


Here are the key stats from today (Monday, 23 March):

  • Total UK cases: 6,650
  • Daily confirmed UK cases: 967
  • Total UK deaths: 335

The figures come before Boris Johnson is set to announce new measures on tackling the coronavirus outbreak, after all Britons travelling abroad were told to return to the UK “while you still can”.

The Prime Minister will deliver an address to the nation from within No 10 at 8.30pm on Monday amid widespread calls for tougher measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The York Design Awards 2020 have been cancelled

The awards were launched last month by Annalie Riches

York Design Awards 2020 will not go ahead due to the escalating uncertainty surrounding the impact of Covid-19.

The awards were launched last month by architect Annalie Riches. Judging for the awards was due to take place in May with the award ceremony in June.

Ann Reid, Chair of the York Design Awards committee said:

  • This decision was not an easy one to make, but a key differentiator of the York Design Awards is that four independent judges travel from across the UK to York and visit each project that is entered for an award.

    With current restrictions on travel and to ensure everyone’s safety, we felt this was our only option.

    We will be back in January 2021 and will include all of this year’s entries in next year’s awards, which we hope will be bigger and better than ever.


With eight categories to choose from, the York Design Awards encourage and reward the highest standards of restoration and refurbishment of existing buildings and the best design in new buildings and public spaces in York.

Previous winners include York Art Gallery, The Bothy at Dean’s Garden Centre and Jake’s Treehouse at Robert Wilkinson School.

All entries received by the closing date of 31st March will be carried forward to next year’s awards.

City centre hotel closes

City centre hotel closes

 
DoubleTree by Hilton York has closed today (Monday). The hotel on the corner of St Maurice’s Road shut at noon.

In a statement the group said:

  • It is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our hotel and restaurant from noon today as we strongly believe that this is the most responsible action we can take.

    It is vitally important to us that we do our best by our people, protecting their jobs and offering financial security.

    We have a social and moral responsibility to support not only our colleagues but all emergency services where we can.

The hotel will contact guests with bookings over the coming days.

York Minster has announced Dean’s Park is to close

Dean's Park, next to York Minster. Photograph: YorkMix

The garden of York Minster will soon be closed.

Dean’s Park will close at 6.30pm this evening (Monday, 23 March) and remain closed until further notice “to help restrict the spread of the coronavirus”, the Chapter of York announced today.

York Minster itself closed on 17 March.

The Great Yorkshire Show 2020 has been cancelled

Photograph: Welcome To Yorkshire

One of the biggest regional traditions of the summer will not go ahead, as the Great Yorkshire Show 2020 is cancelled.

CEO of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society Nigel Pulling said:

  • As this national crisis escalates day by day, we feel we cannot safely run the show in 2020. We are extremely sorry to have to announce this news and appreciate that this will disappoint everyone who loves the Show as much as we do.

    We will continue to passionately support our farmers in whatever way we can, as they work hard producing our food.

    We would like to thank everyone for supporting the Great Yorkshire Show and our goal is to return bigger and better next year.

    We hope you and your families stay safe and well through these difficult times.

The York Gin Shop is closed – but they’re offering free local delivery

Photographs: York Gin

The York Gin shop on Pavement is now closed.

But don’t cry into your tonic – the company is offering free local delivery, with strict hygiene measures and social distancing in place.

The company’s card reader is sanitised after every transaction and the delivery person maintains the recommended two-metre distance at all times.

In a statement the company said:

  • The York Gin shop is now closed until the crisis passes.‬

    Our gins and gift packs are available online at yorkgin.com. We really appreciate your support.‬

    ‪We hope everyone reading this is as well as they can be.‬ Let’s all do our best to help each other through this awful time.‬

The company is looking at ways to replicate the experience in the shop online.

You can keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Much-loved York deli Henshelwoods to close from today

Henshelwoods Delicatessen on Newgate, York. Photograph: YorkMix
Suppliers of fine and fabulous things to eat for umpteen years, Henshelwoods Delicatessen will close this afternoon (Monday, 23 March).

It finishes at 2.30pm. Owners Ali and Kirk Vincent said on Twitter:

  • As a multi-generational household it is the best thing for us to do at present. We do not make this decision lightly and apologise to city centre customers.

    If there is anything we can hold for collection by appointment later this week, please get in touch via DM or email info@deliyork.co.uk

    We may set up a designated collection or drop-off day, but have to think hard due to location. Thank you all for your support. All life will resume as normal eventually.

A great message in York today

The sign outside Barclays Bank on Parliament Street. Photograph: YorkMix

A very human sign from the Parliament Street branch of Barclays.

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone – a cliche, but very true.

Nando’s and Costa Coffee follow McDonald’s in closing completely

Costa Coffee on Market Street today. Photograph: YorkMix
Three more big food brands are shutting down completely.

Nando’s and Costa Coffee had been continuing a takeaway service. But that is going too.

Nando’s has about 420 stores and employs 18,000. It has said they will shut until further notice.

The sign in Nandos
Nando’s on High Ousegate. Photograph: YorkMix
Costa on High Ousegate. Photograph: YorkMix

Costa Coffee announced on Monday that it would temporarily close all cafes from this evening (Monday, 23 March).

The coffee chain said staff at closed stores will be paid their full average weekly pay over eight weeks.

Earlier McDonald’s announced all of its restaurants in the UK and Ireland will close by 7pm on Monday to protect the safety of its employees and customers.

All jury trials are to be put on hold

York Crown Court. Photograph: Richard McDougall

All jury trials in England and Wales are to be put on hold as part of ongoing efforts to halt the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement on Monday, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, said no new trials will start and that ongoing trials will be paused while arrangements are put in place so they can continue safely.

Earlier in the week, Lord Burnett, the most senior judge in England and Wales, said no new trials expected to last three days or more would go ahead amid the deepening coronavirus crisis.

But, as pressure from members of the legal profession mounted on the Government to halt court hearings, the extraordinary step of suspending all new trials was taken.

Browns Department Stores to close from this afternoon

Browns in York. Photograph: YorkMix

Another big name in the world of York retailing is closing indefinitely.

Browns Department Stores will close its branches, including the flagship Davygate store, from 4pm today (Monday, 23 March).

In an announcement on social media, the company says:

  • This is in response to Government advice to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

    To all our customers and staff we hope you all stay safe and healthy.

    We wish your families well in these difficult times.

Rail franchise agreements to be suspended due to coronavirus

A coronavirus notice at York Station. Photograph: YorkMix

Rail franchise agreements are to be suspended to avoid train companies collapsing due to the coronavirus, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

Operators will be paid a small management fee to run services, with all revenue and cost risk transferred to the Government.


The emergency measures will be in place for an initial period of six months.

Rail timetables have been slashed because of Covid-19.

The DfT said passenger numbers have fallen by up to 70%, while ticket sales are down by two-thirds.

Revised rail timetables come in to place today. You can check them out here.

Coronavirus: Number of confirmed cases in York rises again

Photograph: YorkMix

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in York has reached double figures for the first time.

According to official Public Health statistics there are ten cases recorded for York.

That is two more than on Saturday (Saturday).

Here are some of the other statistics:

  • Total UK cases: 5,683
  • Daily confirmed cases: 665
  • Total UK deaths: 281
  • Total cases in North Yorkshire: 20 (up by four)
  • Total cases in East Yorkshire: 15


It comes as both the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and York’s public health chief urged more social distancing.

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health, City of York Council said:

  • To reduce the threat to the NHS, to slow down the infection and to make sure we don’t lose loved ones before their time, we must do more social distancing. It isn’t easy and means doing things differently.

    Social distancing includes keeping two metres apart from another person, working from home wherever possible and avoiding large gatherings.

And this from police commissioner Julia Mulligan:

More cases of coronavirus confirmed in York

A woman wears a face mask near Shambles in York last week. Photograph: Richard McDougall

The latest official figures show that the number of cases of coronavirus in York has risen again.

As of today (Saturday, 21 March) there are now eight confirmed cases in the city.

That is a rise of two on the figures from yesterday. It means the number has doubled since Wednesday.

Meanwhile the total in North Yorkshire stands at 16 – two more than reported yesterday (Friday).

Nationally the coronavirus death toll in the UK has reached 233 after NHS England said a further 53 people had died in England after testing positive.

It comes as Fiona Phillips, City of York Council Assistant Director for Public Health, shared some advice for people on maintaining your wellbeing.

More Coppergate shops to close after today

Pavers, Charles Clinkard and The Body Shop are the latest shops to close at the Coppergate Centre.

All York libraries to close – but there are plans to extend the home library service

The city centre Explore York library. Photograph: YorkMix

Explore York has taken the decision to close all its libraries from noon today (Saturday).

The organisation says on its website:

  • We know that libraries are an important source of reliable advice and support for people during this challenging period.

    We are working hard on developing plans and resources to help you.

Inside the library at Burnholme

While the closure is entirely understandable, many people will be disappointed to realise that they won’t be able to get library books to read during the quiet weeks ahead.

Although Explore says “We are hoping to extend the Home Library Service delivering books and audio books to anyone who needs them during the coming weeks and months.”

If you are self-isolating or cannot leave your home and would like to receive this service then email contact@exploreyork.org.uk putting HOME LIBRARY SERVICE in the subject line and telling us whereabouts in York you live.

Meanwhile the library has some other suggestions:

  • if you are stuck at home they have a range of E-books and audio downloads which you can borrow for free – more info here
  • find reliable information on their Online Reference pages
  • visit their new York Images site and explore the history of the city through photographs, illustrations, maps and archival documents.

The libraries have changed the return date for all loans to June 30.

Roots Restaurant pop-up takeaway does a roaring trade

The Roots York takeaway stand outside the Marygate restaurant. Photographs: Richard McDougall

Two days after the restaurant shut its doors, Roots York has been reborn as a pop-up takeaway.

And it was doing brisk business on Marygate today (Saturday).

The restaurant, run by Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks, announced its closure on Thursday, before the government shut down of all food businesses.

But the spin-off has proved popular in the spring sunshine.

It is offering a range of freshly baked bread, including a Roots sourdough loaf (£4.50) and a Haxby Baker honey and oat sourdough loaf for £3.50.

There are sweet treats, like the Oldstead Danish Swirl (£3.50) and a range of coffees.

And you can pick up ready-to-cook meals like lamb and wild garlic lasagne (£9).

It is due to run today till 2pm.