RYEDALE and the rest of North Yorkshire is moving into Tier 3.

Health Secetary Matt Hancock announced the tougher restrictions this afternoon, which will come into force from midnight.

The City of York is also moving into Tier 3, where the East Riding of Yorkshire, which includes Pocklington and Stamford Bridge, is already in, and will remain so.

Tier 3 restrictions mean hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services from midnight tonight. 

Cllr Keane Duncan, leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “Today’s announcement, just before the New Year, will be a gutting and heartbreaking blow for those businesses struggling to survive.

"This is particularly the case those working in the hospitality sector which our district relies upon and is renowned for.

"We can not gloss over the damaging effect that Tier 3 is going to have economically, nor can we underestimate the ongoing importance of the grant funding administered by Ryedale District Council.

"We have sent out over £25m so far and we will continue to act as promptly and as efficiently as we can to help those businesses in need. My sincere hope for 2021 is that we can finally turn the tide on this virus and get back to business as usual.”

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said: "Today’s fantastic news that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved by the Medicines Regulator gives us real hope for a complete release from restrictions by Spring 2021, but we still have some difficult winter months ahead.

"It’s disappointing but necessary that Thirsk and Malton moves into Tier 3 from tomorrow because Covid case numbers are rising and are now on the same level as other areas when they moved into this tier and our hospitals are under significant pressure again.

"Rates are still lower than many neighbouring Tier 4 areas and I am pressing for more powers for the police to prevent people from making unnecessary journeys from these areas into North Yorkshire."

The following other entertainment and tourist venues must also close:

indoor play centres and areas, including inflatable parks and soft play centres and areas (other than for people who have a disability)

trampolining parks (other than for elite athletes, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)

casinos, bingo halls and bowling alleys.

indoor skating rinks (other than for elite athletes, professional dancers and choreographers, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)

amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, cinemas, theatres and concert halls. 

Residents will not be able to meet with anybody indoors they do not live with, while the rule of six applies to outdoor settings in public gardens and spaces. 

Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits. 

But leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go-ahead.

And retail premises may remain open - while hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, saunas and steam rooms can do too. 

Community centres and halls, and libraries can also remain open.