York MPs push for return to Tier 1


York Central and Inner MPs call for Tier 1 restrictions when lockdown ends.

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Image by Luke Snell

By Megan Thornberry

Both York MPs say that York should enter Tier 1 when the second lockdown ends.

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy and York Central MP Rachael Maskell have said that data suggests that from 2 December, York should fall under Tier 1 restrictions.

This is in response to yesterday's government announcement of a return to a region-based tiered system of restrictions. Each region’s tier will be announced on Thursday.

Both MPs, from opposing political parties, have argued for York to fall into Tier 1 primarily in order to protect businesses and the local economy.

They both reference the recent decrease in York’s Covid case numbers, which are now, according to The York Press, at 153.4 per 100,000, down from 279 when Tier 2 was first imposed upon York in mid October.

During the announcement, Sturdy spoke in the House of Commons, questioning Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the “necessity of the hard work of York residents in getting the virus down being rewarded by movement out of the higher tiers towards looser restrictions”.

Sturdy asked that, “Given the big sacrifices York residents have made to get the virus down locally, does the Secretary of State accept how unfair it would feel if the city is kept in high tier restrictions, even when our Covid rate is considerably lower than when we entered Tier 2, and one of the lowest in our region?”

"Does the Secretary of State agree that the new restrictions policy has to give people hope that self-discipline and resilience will be rewarded?”

In response, Matt Hancock said: “Yes, I do think that those values are important, and should be rewarded, and I hope that areas of the country where the case rate has really come down a long way and is coming down fast, I do hope we will see the fruits of that effort."

Ms Maskell told The York Press that the data suggests that York should move into Tier 1, but complained that the government's latest announcement has “provided more uncertainty".

"The precision work of our public health team, the partnership approach they have with key city leaders and the enormous effort of York residents has resulted in one of the most dramatic drops in Covid-19 infections in the country, however we want to go further".

She went on to argue the case for certifications for venues “to say that they are Covid-19-secure”, and that “the Government have wasted this lockdown period by not putting such measures in place”.