‘This past week has demonstrated the strength of our city and the resolve of our communities’

The crowds at the Ice Trail showed ‘that once again York is very much open for business’. Photograph: YorkMix
7 Feb 2020 @ 4.56 pm
| News

City leaders have praised York’s response to the coronavirus in an unprecedented joint statement.

They have joined together to thank residents for their resolve as the story unfolded, and for continuing to offer a warm welcome to visitors.


The leaders have also condemned reports of racism in the wake of two Chinese nationals being taken ill with the virus in a York hotel a week ago.

They have wished the pair – a University of York student and his mother – a speedy recovery.

And they described York as “a city of sanctuary” which is open for business, reiterating that the risk of infection to residents and visitors remains low.

‘York remains a safe place’

University of York vice-chancellor Charlie Jeffery was one of those issuing the statement
The statement is issued jointly by:

  • Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council
  • Dr Amanda Wilcox, university secretary, York St John University
  • Prof Charlie Jeffery, vice-chancellor, University of York
  • Sean Bullick, managing director, Make it York, and
  • Mike Walker, temporary Assistant Chief Constable, North Yorkshire Police.

The statement begins: “We would like to send our best wishes to the family as they continue their recovery.

“We are confident that the city has robust and well-tested arrangements in place to ensure York remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”


It goes on:

  • This past week has demonstrated the strength of our city and the resolve of our communities to respond to such events.

    Residents and visitors have filled the city for the annual York Ice Trail, showing that once again York is very much open for business.

    We would like to thank our residents for extending our special Yorkshire hospitality.

    We have been saddened by reports of racism from a minority of the public. This type of behaviour has no place in York or anywhere else.

    As a city of sanctuary, we respect and welcome cultures and communities from across the world.

Their statement concludes: “York welcomes millions of people from around the world to live, work and visit every year. We are a city proud of being recognised as among the most friendly and most welcoming in the country: long may that continue.”

You can read the full statement on york.gov.uk/coronavirus.