York council leaders face difficult decisions over further lockdown restrictions in the city

York council leaders. Back row, L-R: Andrew Waller, Paula Widdowson, Nigel Ayre, Darryl Smalley. Front, L-R: Denise Craghill, Andy D'Agorne, Keith Aspden, Carol Runciman, Ian Cuthbertson

York council leaders will be tasked with making “difficult decisions” about whether to impose further lockdown restrictions if coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said yesterday that the Government wants to work with local leaders to “make difficult decisions where necessary” about imposing further restrictions in different areas of the country.

York remains under the lowest level of restrictions following a move to a three tier system on Monday.

But cases in the city have risen sharply.

According to BBC data York has a rate of 220 cases per 100,000 people and remains on the lowest level of restrictions, while both Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester have lower rates but have been put on a higher tier of restrictions.

City of York Council leader Keith Aspden said he heard nothing from the government or Public Health England before the Prime Minister’s statement about further restrictions on Monday.

Asked if he would request or resist further restrictions for York, Cllr Aspden said he welcomed the fact that no further restrictions were imposed yet and he would embrace any talks on tailored safety measures for the city.

He said: “I would welcome further engagement with the government to better understand and tailor safety measures which would help our local efforts in stopping the spread of the virus.

“Effective communication, clarity and cooperation with local authorities and public health teams is what has been so notably absent throughout these last few months.”

He said a better test, trace and isolate system is needed.