YORK Central MP Rachael Maskell has pleaded with residents to make sacrifices for the good of the community, urging them to think of our 'exhausted, broken NHS staff.'

She said the pre-Christmas movement of people from Tier 3 to York and social mixing over Christmas had left York in the worst of all positions.

She claimed the NHS was becoming overwhelmed and she believed there were too many opportunities for person to person contact, causing Covid19 to 'rip through the city... Now with infection rates double that of the region, York must bear down on Covid19, by minimalising social contact."

She said: "This approach has worked in places like New Zealand, where a rapid response to Covid, freed the country from infection. The same is needed here so we can return to normal activity as soon as possible.

"If people are infected, then they must rigorously stay at home. There can be no exceptions. I am calling for the isolation payments to be extended. I know that family finances are really tough, it is cold and heating bills need to be paid, and people need to eat. If you are struggling, we will find support, but please stay at home.

"Every time, you feel frustrated by Covid19 restrictions, please think of our exhausted, broken NHS staff, having to wear full PPE all day long, unable to cope the sheer volume of infections coming through their doors, not to mention all the other medical problems they are dealing with. They need you to stay put for now as the NHS is at capacity and difficult clinical decisions will need to be made if more demand is placed on it."

She asked employers to allow their staff to work at home, unless providing absolutely essential services to residents, asked parents, unless they had no other form of childcare, to keep their children at home, and asked venues that were open to assess whether they really needed to be.

"Furthermore, I am asking people to end their social mixing, unless it is with someone in their household or social bubble, and to stay home.

"Now is not the time to break, bend or flex the rules, it is the time to make this sacrifice for our whole community. I know this is hard, I too am missing my parents, who I haven’t seen since the summer, and am refusing to travel to Parliament until it is safe to do so.

"I live alone and know how hard that can be, but I want to see York back in that place where we can enjoy the company of one another as soon as possible."