RYEDALE’S MP has said he will strongly oppose any moves to absorb the district into further county-wide restrictions where it is not merited.

Kevin Hollinrake said he had put forward the case for a more localised, evidenced-based approach regularly to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

He said: “Ryedale has some of the lowest recorded cases in North Yorkshire at 101.1/100,000 population compared with 134.8 in Craven and 289.6 in York.

“I want to keep as much of the local economy open as possible and I think it is only fair to businesses and jobs in Ryedale that we only impose tighter measures where there is an absolute need.

“I will strongly oppose any move to absorb Ryedale into further county-wide restrictions where this is not merited.

“I have made the case for a more localised, evidenced-based approach regularly to the Prime Minister and Health Secretary, including twice last week on the floor of the House of Commons and will continue to do so.”

The latest figures for Ryedale are (seven–day rolling rate in brackets): Malton and Norton - 11 cases (75.9, down two), Rillington and Sherburn - five cases (71.7, remains the same), Sheriff Hutton, Slingsby and Swinton - 13 cases (133.3, down five) Helmsley and Ampleforth - 10 cases (145.1, down one) Kirkbymoorside and Moors - seven cases (106.7, up three) Pickering and Thornton-le-Dale - 16 cases (149.3, up nine).

On Monday, Year 11 students at Malton School were told to stay at home after a pupil in their cohort tested positive for coronavirus. At Norton Primary School, Year 3 pupils were also told not to attend, while Welburn Primary School has closed until after the half-term holiday.

Ryedale and North Yorkshire are currently in Tier 1, so restrictions include the “rule of six” and the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

Discussions are on going over the various tier restrictions imposed on different regions. West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and York are all currently in Tier 2 with tighter restrictions.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, North Yorkshire’s director of public health, told the North Yorkshire Outbreak Management Advisory Board there are active discussions going on about whether Yorkshire and Humber, particularly whether those in the Yorkshire Coast and Vale area should move together into Tier 2.

“There is certainly discussion both from a public health point of view but also soundings from a political point of view as to how we move,” he said.

“There some reasons for moving together. One is around consistency, there has been quite a number of questions around issues with borders, particularly in North Yorkshire as around us we have areas in Tier 2and people do travel to work across the border.

“There is also concern around the potential impact on the care home sector, on infections translation into cases impacting on the older and more vulnerable population.

“So there is an argument for all of us to move into Tier 2 as I think it didn’t take very long for York to move up.

“Clearly the trade-off there is about the hospitality sector, the impact on the reputation of North Yorkshire and to what extent do we have strong evidence that the Tier 2 restrictions, and there is reasonable evidence, will slow the rise in the rate of cases and how sustainable that is and over what period the restrictions will need to be maintained is also an issue.”