YORK will be put in to Tier 2 of the Government's coronavirus alert system.

It means tougher restrictions for the city from one minute past midnight on Saturday morning - with the new rules in place from the start of Saturday.

READ MORE: What you can and can't do from Saturday under Tier 2

The move was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in Parliament this morning, Thursday.

He said York is seeing a sharp rise in cases.

Mr Hancock said cases have risen by 60 per cent in the city in the past week.

He said:"In York there are two overlapping epidemics, one amongst students and one amongst the general population.

"My message to everybody in York, a city I know and love, is it's so important that all of us abide by these rules.

"That way we can get the increase in the number of cases in York down."

York Central MP Rachael Maskell was in the House of Commons when the announcement was made and told the Health Secretary: "I'm concerned that there are areas of the country that are in Tier 3 with a lower infection rate.

"I do not believe the measures in Tier 2 are going to be sufficient to stop the spread of the virus in our city, which as he knows is rising sharply and in the older population as well.

"York experiences real challenges every single winter because of the capacity issues at our hospital, and without taking more acute action now I'm concerned we are going to be in serious difficulty in just weeks."

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy is in talks with the health minister today.

Speaking to The Press earlier, he said: “I want to know the reasoning for this. The situation seems to have changed very suddenly, from just 24 hours ago.

“It will have a big impact on the hospitality sector. People will not be able to meet other households in pubs and restaurants. If it went on for many months it would be devastating.”

He said it had been estimated by the hospitality industry that pubs and restaurants could lose 50 per cent of their revenue because of the ban on households mixing, which would mean, for example, three couples would no longer be able to go out for a meal together.

However, such businesses would not receive the support being given to those in the highest tier, he said.