YORK Central MP Rachael Maskell says the decision to place York in Tier 2 after the national lockdown measures end on December 2 will be a "serious blow" for many businesses that are struggling.

Ms Maskell said the announcement "has come as a surprise to us," adding: "It would seem the Government have used Tier 2 as the default tier, with exceptions where infection rates are incredibly low, with only three areas placed in Tier 1, Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and the Isle of Wight. Tier 3 is being used for those places where infection rates remain high."

She also said: "We now need to understand what further steps York must take to be placed in Tier 1 and what additional support will be available to underpin our economy. Today’s announcement will be a serious blow for many businesses that are struggling at this time, and I confirm that I will continue to make representation on their behalf until at every opportunity.

"With Christmas coming, and lockdown lifting, people will want to go out. I call on everyone to be diligent in following the Hands-Face-Space instructions and to ensure that they isolate should they be required to. If people are struggling financially, please get in touch. People are still really poorly, people are dying and our NHS is feeling the strain, as are our incredible NHS staff, exhausted from a traumatic year, tired of wearing all that PPE all day, and determined to beat this virus.”

“Let us be safe this Christmas and ensure that no-one gets the present nobody wants.”

She has thanked everyone in York for the incredible efforts they have made to beat Covid-19.

"We are not there yet, but many of us have the determination to see infection rates fall further.