RYEDALE District Council (RDC) is urging residents to help keep the R rate low by sticking to the Covid guidelines.

From today (Wednesday), Ryedale is in tier 2 as the national lockdown ends.

Cllr Keane Duncan, leader of RDC, said: “The tier 2 restrictions will be a bitter blow for the hardworking and law-abiding residents of our district, especially as our infection rate has consistently remained amongst the lowest in Yorkshire.

“With Ryedale’s economy heavily dependent on retail, hospitality and tourism, the economic impact is likely to be particularly acute.

“Shops are reporting significantly reduced trade, while some pubs and restaurants face collapse.

“Our priority, therefore, must be to move into tier 1 at the earliest opportunity.

“That is what I am calling for and what we all need to work together to achieve over the coming weeks.

“Meanwhile, our efforts as a council to support those in need continue.

“Our stellar team of officers have been working around-the-clock to get business grant funding out of the door and to offer support to our citizens. And that work won’t stop.

“We’re all in this together and I offer my sincere thanks to everyone in Ryedale for continuing to stick to the Covid-19 guidance and for playing their part.”

As of Monday there have been 63 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Yorkshire, taking the total to 13,271 since the start of the pandemic.

Figures from Public Health England shows the seven-day figure per 100,000 population for the county is now 129.9. In Ryedale, it is 108.3 and 175.6 in Scarborough.

From December 2, residents in Ryedale and other tier 2 areas:

l Must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place;

l Must not socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the "rule of six";

l Must continue to follow tier 2 rules when they travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area is allowed as part of a longer journey.

For full details of tier 2 restrictions, go to gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-restriction-tiers-by-area. For information on the impact on businesses, go to gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

Help is also available at ryedale.gov.uk/covid-19-2020/2570-prevent-covid .uk