YORK Central MP Rachael Maskell says she believes that many will welcome the greater freedoms announced tonight by the Prime Minister -'but we need to ensure that risk is not increased in York.'

The Labour MP said:“It is one thing to have optimism and aspiration, it is another to ensure safety and base all decisions on evidence.

" It is understandable why people are yearning for greater freedoms at this time, however I cannot see how people can physically return to work until a full risk assessment is undertaken and the risks mitigated through policies and practice to ensure social distancing, hygiene and PPE use can be stringently adhered to.

" Likewise with the return of schools, parents and teachers need to be confident that the way that schools operate.

“Greater evidence needs to be provided to demonstrate that other aspects of the economy can function safely, and in the interim workers need their financial security strengthened. Currently too many people are not getting the economic support that they need, which will make returning to work far more difficult to navigate.

"Staying safe and socially distancing ourselves, and continuing with hand washing and high levels of hygiene must remain our focus.

"COVID-19 is still highly contagious, prevalent in our community and is still resulting in people becoming seriously ill and dying. We cannot compromise on safety, and should anyone feel unsafe at work or in the community, they must be able to report this, and have their concerns addressed.”