Coronavirus major incident declared in North Yorkshire

Area's Local Resilience Forum reinstates 'full emergency mode', with Harrogate and Selby places of particular concern

Residents walk on the seafront in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Parts of the town have seen a sharp rise in coronavirus cases
Residents walk on the seafront in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Parts of the town have seen a sharp rise in coronavirus cases Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

A major incident has been declared by officials in North Yorkshire following a "surge" in coronavirus cases in the past fortnight.

The North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF) said it was reinstating "full emergency mode".

The body, made up of representatives from the police and local authorities, said Harrogate and Selby were of particular concern. Parts of Craven and Scarborough have also seen a sharp rise in cases.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, the county's director of public health, told a meeting there had been one to two new cases per day at the end of July but there were now around 20 new cases per day (the graphic below shows the different patterns of infection rates across England).

Richard Flinton, the NYLRF chairman, said: "In North Yorkshire, we have remained at a high level of alert since lockdown eased and we have monitored and managed outbreaks where they have happened very successfully with test-and-trace.

"However, we are seeing community transmission of the virus now and a worrying rise in cases in a number of areas. We know how quickly infection rates can change and we are calling on the whole county to act now with us in response."

NYLRF said it was "stepping up support" for care homes, with some homes being told to reintroduce visitor restrictions.

Other measures include encouraging people to wear face masks whenever they leave home, and dedicated police patrols targeting those breaking social distancing rules.

A major incident was first declared at the start of the pandemic, but was subsequently lifted.

The development comes with the Government announcing local restrictions in seven areas in the north-east of England (watch Matt Hancock detailing the measures in the video below).

There has been a 167 per cent increase in the number of new people testing positive for Covid-19 in England, the National Health Service's Test and Trace scheme said on Thursday.

The scheme said positive cases have been rising since the start of July and are now double the number recorded when Test and Trace launched in May.