NORTH Yorkshire Police is appealing to members of the public to start to implement the ’rule of six’ as soon as possible, before the guidance comes into force tomorrow (Monday).

The force said over the past week, the region has experienced escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases – particularly in the under 30’s age group and in the areas of Harrogate, Whitby and Selby. On Friday, the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, a partnership of local agencies working together to manage emergencies, called for a strong and determined effort by everyone in the region to turn the tide on the increasing numbers.

Commenting on the significant increase in the number of cases, chief inspector Charlotte Bloxham, silver lead for the North Yorkshire Police Covid-19 response, said: “The measures that have been announced regarding social gathering and the ‘rule of six’ are steps that Government and health professionals have deemed necessary to help to control the spread of the virus.

“It’s vital that we react quickly to this advice and do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus, as we all know how dangerous and devastating Covid-19 can be. It’s important that everyone takes personal responsibility to ensure that they adhere to the guidance around not meeting in groups larger than six people, both indoors and outdoors and remembers the ‘hands, face, space’ advice. While it may be tempting to quickly sneak in a get-together with friends and family this weekend, please remember why these measures are being introduced. Covid-19 remains a real threat and we need to do everything we can to stop the spread.

“In previous months, the public of North Yorkshire have responded brilliantly when new advice has been issued and we are fortunate that the large majority of the public want to work with us to help protect the vulnerable and keep our communities safe. We expect the same response from the public in this instance.

“While enforcement powers will start from Monday, we would encourage everyone to implement the ‘rule of six’ straight away and we would particularly encourage those in the most affected age groups to consider the responsibility they carry when they do socialise. While they themselves may not be suffering any sign of illness, they can carry the virus and infect others with it. So please ensure you maintain social distancing and wear a face covering when needed.

“Unlike earlier this year when the nation was in full lockdown, demand for our services is now back up to pre-Covid levels. However, we will continue to follow our usual approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to act responsibly and only resorting to enforcement when absolutely necessary. If, from Monday, you have any concerns regarding any breach of these new regulations, please report it to us in the first instance via the online form on the North Yorkshire Police website –”