RYEDALE leaders have welcomed the decision to keep the district in the lowest level of restrictions under the new coronavirus alert system.

Ryedale is in the medium level of the new three tier system - which has two higher levels labelled “high” and “very high”.

It means current national restrictions, including the rule of six, the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars and the wearing of face coverings in enclosed public spaces, still apply, but no further restrictions have yet been imposed.

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement in the House of Commons on Monday, in which he outlined the new three tier system of restrictions, Ryedale MP Kevin Hollinrake said: “I am delighted that the whole of North Yorkshire is classified in the Medium Alert level which is the lowest of the three categories after high and very high.

“This means we can continue to go to pubs and restaurants and meet in groups of six both indoors and outside. I very much hope it will stay this way.

“Although the numbers have gone up in Thirsk and Malton over the past couple of weeks, we remain lower than in some other parts of the county. This is why I will be pushing for any further restrictions to apply at a super local level, as is successful in Germany, rather than county-wide which would help protect local businesses and jobs.”

The latest data from Public Health England yesterday (Tuesday) showed the total number of cases reported in Ryedale was 287 - up 12 in the previous 24 hours (518.2 rate per 100,000 population).

Cllr Keane Duncan, leader of Ryedale District Council (RDC), said: “No change is sensible for Ryedale at this time.

“Tighter restrictions could have dire consequences for businesses and residents who are already facing hardship.

“We need to protect lives first and foremost, but we must protect livelihoods too.

“Many people are really struggling and we must do all we can to help them. The situation is, of course, under constant review.

“I’d like to thank the citizens and businesses of Ryedale for playing their part and continuing to follow the government guidelines.

“Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and is still impacting our daily lives. I know that we’re all making sacrifices, but now more than ever we need to be vigilant. Each of us has a social responsibility to protect one another.”

Meanwhile, Ryedale Community Support Organisation (CSO) has said it will continue supporting families, households and individuals.

Claire Robinson, Ryedale CSO manager, said: “As we look towards the next six months we are delighted that the CSO continues to operate through the support of North Yorkshire County Council and Ryedale District Council.

“We would like to reassure Ryedale residents that practical support is on hand for those who have been impacted by the pandemic and we are working together with our existing network of volunteers and paid staff .”

Claire said the CSO can organise food and medication collection, offer support with regular telephone befriending and welfare checks, give information and advice, plus act as an access point for the North Yorkshire County Council Covid-19 Support Fund

She added: “To support this ongoing work Dinah Keal joined the team at the start of October as community support organisation lead and to further help over the next six months.

“We are also delighted to announce we have recruited a new community link worker, Luke Taylor, whose post has been supported through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund.

“Luke’s role will be to help volunteers and communities to keep motivated and connected during these difficult times.”

For more information, to find out how you could volunteer and/or to seek support if you are experiencing challenges due to the impact of Covid-19, the team is available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, on 07922 421326 or by phone NYCC on 01609 780780 or emailing communities@carersresource.net