REVELLERS are being urged to stay safe today while out enjoying themselves in York’s reopened pubs.

A York Hospital boss said people must do everything they can to avoid causing a second spike in coronavirus cases - and also avoid putting extra pressure on its emergency department.

“If you are heading out this weekend, please remember the rules around social distancing and hand hygiene,” said James Taylor, medical director at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Sharon Stoltz, director for public health at City of York Council, warned that the virus was still in general circulation in York.

“Social distancing and washing your hands remain our best protection and the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus and it is important that we continue to see the number of infections fall in the city,” she said.

“Whilst these changes give us more opportunity to see friends and families, we all have a role to play in keeping each other safe.”

North Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker said: “Please don’t make things worse for your favourite pub or bar by risking their licence through anti-social behaviour or worse.

“Please plan ahead, enjoy our new semblance of freedom and keep in mind the sacrifices that were made to get us to this point.”

Rachel Lacy, operations manager for York Rescue Boat, whose volunteers will be out on patrol for 14 hours this weekend in the boat’s longest scheduled shift since it was launched in 2015, said she understood how people wanted to be back out enjoying themselves - "but please, be aware of your own and others’ safety".

She said: “We want to see people out enjoying themselves, and local businesses thriving, but we also want to see them going home safe and dry at the end of the day.

“No matter what the air temperature is, the river is still cold, and nationally, 75 per cent of people who end up in water did not intend to do so and slipped, tripped or fell in. It’s easier to do than many people realise.”