POLICE and council chiefs have issued a warning to people to “think ahead and limit the spread” of coronavirus over the bank holiday weekend.

Both City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police said it was important to reduce contact with others where possible and only make essential journeys.

And bosses at York council added that the city centre will continue to be open only for essential shopping trips.

Meanwhile, Richard Flinton, chairman of North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF), said: “There are still limited facilities so clearly handwashing may be limited – equally some places will be busier than others, making social distancing difficult.

"Together these actions remain some of the most powerful defences we have against this virus. So think ahead to limit the spread.

“If you turn up somewhere and it’s clearly busy, don’t risk it.

"Have a plan B and even a plan C to ensure you keep away from crowds and protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of Public Health in North Yorkshire, said: “Hundreds of lives have been lost linked to Covid-19 in our area and there is some data that suggests the virus is declining more slowly in some areas than others.

“Overall there is a gradual decline in the number of people in hospital in the area but it would be wrong for anyone to think we are out of the woods. Far from it. If ever there was a moment to take every precaution, it’s now.”

Council chiefs are encouraging people who may want to visit the York to postpone their trip, so they can instead see the city's sights and attractions in full when it is safe.

Leader of City of York Council, Cllr Keith Aspden, said: “I’m grateful to the residents and businesses who have continued to respond to the pandemic by practising social distancing in the city. The health and safety of residents is our utmost priority and only by everyone playing their part can we work to save lives.

“It is encouraging to see that more businesses are finding ways to help serve the community, whilst ensuring social distancing measures. As people look to enjoy the bank holiday weekend, it is important that we continue to socially distance.”