COVID cases have been confirmed in seven care homes in the York area.

At least one resident or staff member had the coronavirus at each care home on Thursday, according to City of York Council's latest Covid data tracker report.

The figures come as care providers say they are worried over the end of Covid-19 restrictions as they continue the fight to keep older and vulnerable people safe during the pandemic.

They say the spiralling Covid-19 infection rate continues to put vulnerable people at risk and they are urging people to remain cautious.

The provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) says so-called ‘Freedom Day’ across the country will be ‘business as usual day’ in care settings.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “I think everyone welcomes a relaxation of restrictions and we all want to get back to normal as soon as possible.

“But within social care we cannot help but be a little afraid that it will pose a significant risk to those already vulnerable to this dreadful, indiscriminate pandemic.

“We appeal to people to continue to respect the hands, face, space message and wear a mask indoors for the foreseeable future so that our residents and those we care for in their own homes are not put at further risk.

“Covid-19 has not gone away and is still having an enormous impact on the community.

“My message is: enjoy the relaxation of restrictions but remember there are still many people in society who are vulnerable to Covid-19 and we must protect them.

“We are urging providers to retain all the safety measures that we currently have in place for the foreseeable future. Nothing should change in terms of PPE, hygiene and social distancing."