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  1. Covid train travel checks by North Yorkshire police

    People travelling into North Yorkshire by train at the weekend are being warned they'll be asked where they're from and why they're visiting.

    Taxi sign at York railway station

    North Yorkshire's in tier two - high alert - coronavirus restrictions but surrounding areas, including the East Riding and South and West Yorkshire, are covered by tier three - very high alert -restrictions.

    Supt Mike Walker from North Yorkshire Police said: "Those travelling into railway stations will see an increased presence by British Transport Police.

    "It's our job to engage with the public and find out the purpose of their journeys, especially if we see groups of people arriving.

    "The more we can encourage people to only travel when necessary, the better."

    Meanwhile police have been stopping motorists from outside North Yorkshire attempting to cross into the county and checking they're not "inadvertently bringing coronavirus with them".

    The North Yorkshire force is also using number plate recognition technology to police the regulations.

  2. NHS names local Covid-19 'vaccine hubs'

    Daniel Holland

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Covid-19 vaccines will be rolled out across the North East and Cumbria and people could be seen at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary from next week, it has emerged.

    According to an NHS presentation seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the hospital will be among the first in the country to be used as a vaccine hub, after the UK approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday.

    Middlesbrough’s James Cook Hospital is named as a site to deliver the vaccine in the first week of the roll-out, with North Tyneside General Hospital and the Freeman Hospital in the second week.

    The NHS presentation also lists Whitehaven or Carlisle as a hub in week one of the process.

    Slide showing vaccine sites

    A report by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, Dame Jackie Daniel, said: “In October, Newcastle Hospitals was appointed as the lead provider for the development and provision of a Covid-19 Vaccine Hub for the North East and North Cumbria.

    “A multi-professional and multi-agency programme team has been brought together to plan how a vaccination programme will work for the region, and is doing so working closely with partners from across the Integrated Care System.”


    People in care homes, along with the staff who work in them, are expected to be among the first to receive the jabs.

    Health and social care workers and adults who are extremely vulnerable due to health conditions are also a high priority.

  3. Yorkshire's Friday weather forecast

    BBC Weather

    A breezy and chilly day with rain, some heavy. Some sleet or snow is possible for a time over hills.

    Tonight will be wet and windy, easing off towards morning as clear spells develop:

    Weather graphic
  4. North Yorkshire Police to enforce coronavirus border rules

    Motorists from outside North Yorkshire attempting to cross into the county are being stopped by police checking they're not "inadvertently bringing coronavirus with them".

    North Yorkshire Police car

    North Yorkshire's in tier two - high alert restrictions - but surrounding areas, including the East Riding and South and West Yorkshire, are covered by tier three - very high alert restrictions.

    In a statement issued last night, Supt Mike Walker said: "North Yorkshire Police will have an increased presence in these border areas.

    "It's neither necessary or acceptable to leave a tier three area and enter a lower tier area, for a day trip or to visit a pub or restaurant for a meal.

    “Do not try to side-step the tighter restrictions in your area, If you do, you may inadvertently bring the virus in with you and increase the chance of transmission to local residents."

    The statement adds that the North Yorkshire force will be using number plate recognition technology to police the regulations.

  5. Snow weather warning issued for North Yorkshire

    A weather warning's been issued for snow in western parts of North Yorkshire.

    Weather warning graphic

    The yellow "be aware" warning covers the period from 11:30 today until 09:00 tomorrow.

    The Met Office says: "Further spells of snow are expected over hills and mountains today, before snow turns more widespread for a time this evening and overnight.

    "Today, a further 2cm to 5cm is possible above 300m to 400m. Tonight, snow may briefly settle across areas as low as 150m above sea level."

    The warning includes advice for drivers who have to travel when snow is forecast.

    The Met Office says: "Make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade, and let someone know when you expect to arrive and your route."

  6. Watch: Dales hit by a blast of the festive white stuff

    There's enough snow to build quite a few snowmen in parts of the Yorkshire Dales this morning.

    Video content

    Video caption: Up to 4in (10cm) of snow fell in higher parts of the Yorkshire Dales

    This footage was filmed by Thomas Beresford out in the higher parts of North Yorkshire:

    Video content

    Video caption: Snow has fallen heavily in northern parts of North Yorkshire
  7. Yorkshire's Thursday weather forecast

    BBC Weather

    Sleet and rain showers are expected for much of the day.

    Tonight will turn breezy and overcast with further outbreaks of rain, which could turn to snow on higher ground:

    Weather graphic
  8. North Yorkshire faces 'long journey' to tier one - Council

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    It could be a “long journey” to get North Yorkshire into tier one coronavirus restrictions, people living in the county have been warned.

    Coronavirus sign in Filey

    Today, York and North Yorkshire started their first day in tier two - high alert - restrictions which place curbs on household mixing.

    The county’s infection rate now stands at 107 cases per 100,000 people, below the average for England which is currently 154.

    Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for Health and Social Care, told a meeting of the Local Resilience Forum that hard work to keep rates down must continue.

    He said: “It is very good news we have come out of lockdown and I'm pleased and relieved we are in tier two, as last week I wasn’t sure if some parts of the county could be in tier three.

    "The advice we are getting from the chief medical officer and others is that it might be quite a long journey to get out of tier two into tier one. I know there will be some parts of the county very anxious to see that change."

    Meanwhile, North Yorkshire’s director of public health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, said: "What we have to be careful of is that we don’t lose momentum and people think we have come out of lockdown and drop their guard."

  9. Coronavirus: 'Light at the end of the tunnel' as patient numbers fall

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Hospital chiefs said there is “light at the end of the tunnel” of the pandemic amid falling numbers of Covid-19 patients at a Teesside trust.

    Demands have been high on front-line staff at James Cook Hospital during the second wave.

    But at a meeting of South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust board, health chiefs said they were "quietly confident" that they had “passed the peak” in this latest spike.

    It is understood the trust is treating 95 coronavirus patients – with 12 patients in critical care.

    This is down from 128 patients and 20 people in critical care at the trust nine days ago.

    Board chairman Alan Downey said: “We climbed a mountain in the first wave of Covid and as we were coming down, we hit the second wave.

    “The good news is it looks as if we’ve come past the peak of the second wave – infection rates and admissions to the hospital for Covid are reducing.”

    However, he aired a note of caution adding it was unknown what would happen during the relaxation of regulations at Christmas.

    The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands 40 patients are currently being treated in a “virtual Covid ward” across South Tees, a sum which has remained steady for a month.

    James Cook Hospital
  10. Christmas market cancellation hits Harrogate economy

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The cancellation of this year’s Christmas market in Harrogate due to the coronavirus pandemic will mean a loss to the local economy of nearly £3m, a study has claimed.

    Harrogate Christmas Market sign

    The popular town centre attraction, which regularly attracts over 80,000 visitors, moved online as a result of the cancellation, with a website promoting stall holders and their offerings.

    The annual event would have been held for four days in mid-November and according to a study carried out by Where the Trade Buys, its cancellation comes at a cost of £2.7m to Harrogate's economy.

    The calculation was based on the presumption that each visitor would have spent £34 on food, drink and gifts at the market, which is organised by a group of volunteers headed by Brian Dunsby.

    Mr Dunsby said volunteers were “tremendously disappointed” the event was cancelled but added they look forward to welcoming back businesses and festive shoppers next year.

    "The market is vital to Harrogate businesses and it also benefits many charities with thousands of pounds raised for local causes each year," he said.

    Sandra Doherty, chief executive of Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, said the market not only benefits stall holders, but also surrounding hospitality businesses.

    "This £2.7m figure should not be looked at in isolation, but as part of a bigger picture to just how much money has been lost to the local economy in recent months...I’d say the figure of £2.7m barely scratches the surface."

  11. Yorkshire prepares for new coronavirus tiers

    People across Yorkshire are preparing for the latest england-wide coronavirus lockdown to end, with new rules expected to come into force across the county from tomorrow.

    Sheffield coronavirus sign

    At midnight, the national lockdown will end with new, local rules starting at 00:01, providing MPs vote to approve the rules later tonight.

    The three tiers, medium, high and very high alert, will be reviewed every 14 days, the government has said.

    In tier two, people are not allowed to mix with anyone outside their household or support bubble indoors, although they can socialise in groups of up to six outdoors.

    In tier three, people must not mix with anyone outside their household or support bubble indoors, or at most outdoor venues.

    Tier two - high alert - areas from Wednesday are:

    • York
    • North Yorkshire

    Tier three - very high alert - areas from Wednesday are:

    • East Riding of Yorkshire
    • Hull
    • South Yorkshire
    • West Yorkshire
    The tiers