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Corona virus update – 24th March 2020

York Wheels/Dial a Ride stopping

York wheels/dial and ride will close on Friday

“We haven’t taken the decision lightly but with elderly drivers (over 30 volunteers) we have to respect their decision to isolate. Carrying elderly on the bus for shopping at dial and ride is important but going everyday is not good for elderly this is not how to isolate.

If required we have 3 mini buses and volunteers who can help any groups who need buses. 

York hospital visiting stopped

Hospital visiting cancelled York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust sites. This includes York, Scarborough, Malton, Bridlington, St Monica’s Easingwold, and Selby hospitals, as well as St Helen’s and White Cross Court rehabilitation units.

BT caps call charges from landlines

BT is telling its land line customers that they will not have to pay more than £5 a month for calls to other UK landlines or mobiles.

York Minster services on line

Stations of the Cross 2020

This year’s Stations of the Cross will be coming to you online.

Join us through Lent for prayer & meditations written by Canon Chris Collingwood, based on Jerry Scott’s Stations of the Cross drawings. The services are led by Canons Chris Collingwood and Maggie McLean, with music performed by Ben Morris.

A new Station will be uploaded daily (excluding Sundays) and will be available as text, audio, or as a video with the visual aid of the relevant Station (recommended)


The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death
Biblical Reading: Mark 15:15
Music: Herzliebster Jesu, Op 122 No 2 – Johannes Brahms

Updated daily as video & audio links via >>

York RSPCA appeal for funds

As a result of the Coronavirus, from Tuesday the 24th March the animal home will close to the public and all rehoming activity will stop.

Front line animal staff will still be working in the home to look after our current residents and accepting animals brought in by the RSPCA inspectors. During this time we will be reducing the number of staff working at the branch so will be unable to respond to general queries regarding fostering, adoptions or volunteering.

During this time we will not be able to accept animals from the general public during this time, this includes injured wild animals. We will only be accepting donations of food, but ask that members of the public do not break lockdown to deliver these donations themselves.

In the last week we have seen 90% of our income disappear. We rely almost entirely on self generated income and unlike other businesses we cannot close down to save costs. The branch costs around £60,000 a month to operate and we are today launching an emergency appeal to try and secure some of the funding we need to run. We desperately need your support at this time.

Click here to donate >>

Job vacancies near York

Nigel Upson

If you know of anyone who is looking for work, please let them know that we are recruiting staff to help keep up with demand for our chicken as the Coronavirus crisis deepens.

We anticipate that we will temporarily lose up to 50% of our team as a result of Covid-19 self-isolation and are recruiting in all areas of the business to ensure continuity of supply.

Our Managing Director, Nigel Upson said: “Independent retailers in our area have done an amazing job of providing fresh produce to our communities when the supermarkets couldn’t. We have taken the decision to keep production at full tilt to continue to feed Yorkshire through this network of butchers and farm shops, but we need your help. At the peak of this crisis we anticipate that more than 50% of our staff will not be available for work so we need to boost numbers now to maintain throughput. 

“We seek some specialist skills like accounts staff, fork lift drivers, lorry drivers and also need a strong contingent of people willing to do whatever it takes including warehouse staff, packing boxes and cleaning the factory overnight.”

Please send an e mail to giving details of what work you normally do and what you are prepared to do. Everyone will have the opportunity to visit the site for a tour before committing but will have to agree to a screening for symptoms of illness before being allowed into the building.

Morrisons essentials delivered in a box

Confirmation of link to Morrisons essentials delivery boxes launched yesterday . Proving to be very popular.

Visit York list of takeaways

Visit York have published a list of 30 takeaways that are still operating. mostly city centre.

Freecycle suspended

Freecycle, the surplus goods exchange service, has suspended its operations

Newspaper deliveries stopping

Although newsagents are specifically exempted from the government instruction to close, we understand that several have decided – for the safety of their staff – to suspend home deliveries

Good time to take out an “on line” subscription maybe? (unless you only rad the sports results, then maybe not!)

York Market only open for fresh food sales now

Make it York say the market is now closed but special provision will be made for those traders supplying fresh food, with social distancing measures put in place.

Opening hours are set to be 10am until 5pm and any further updates will be shared on the Shambles Market Facebook and Twitter accounts.

All measures are under continuous review, and Make It York will follow the advice given from local and national government over the coming days.

Stay at home

Government instructions available via this link (click)

Many shops now closed

All non-essential shops are closing including clothes stores, department store chains, electronics and computer stores.

However, the list excludes food shops, pharmacies, corner shops, hardware stores, petrol stations, pet shops, post offices, banks, newsagents and shops inside hospitals.

Many parks will stay open, but gyms including outdoor gyms, play-parks and all places of worship, except for funerals, will close.

Jobs with the York Council

Times are tough at the moment for everyone and we want to help. If you need a job we could help you. We need HGV drivers and loaders. More at the links below or call Work With York.…/

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor, possible text that says 'YORK WE NEED YOU! Drivers and loaders wanted for waste services If you need a temporary job contact Work With Work 01904 554234'

Free parking for NHS staff

Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has announced that from today (Tuesday) , all staff car parking charges will be suspended with immediate effect at York, Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals until further notice, ‘in a move to support staff getting to and from work for the duration of the outbreak.’

It tweeted; “From 1 April payroll deductions for parking will be stopped, and pay and display machines will be switched off this evening. Staff with parking permits can park on any site for free.

“We hope these small gestures will enable to you stay healthy and feel supported during what are challenging and increasingly difficult times. Thank you.”

Move to help self employed through crisis

City of York Council, Make It York and other cultural leaders in York have written to Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State to ensure that those who are self-employed are not forgotten.

There are approximately 12,000 self employed people in the city currently who will be needed during the economic recovery and should be included in the Governments plans.

In addition, York is recognised across the world as a city rich with a diverse culture. In 2019 the EU’s Cultural and Creative Cities monitor awarded York the most “culturally vibrant” city in the UK, and seventh best in Europe for medium size cities.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council, said:

“The cultural, creative and voluntary sectors are the life-blood of our communities. Across York, they support our wellbeing, enrich our lives and have vast economic benefits to our city.

That’s why along with Make It York and York Museums Trust and other city leaders, I have written to Oliver Dowden MP.  We have welcomed the positive measures announced by the Government which go a large way to ensuring we get through this pandemic.  However, a third of the UK’s creative workforce is self-employed, and the artists and creative practitioners in those sectors will be seriously affected by loss of income due to the pandemic.”

Nationally, the creative industries contributed £111.7bn to the UK economy in 2018, and grew five times faster than the wider economy.  It is important that moving forward, the Government works quickly to provide reassurance and support to these sectors, so that they are able to bounce back once this crisis has passed.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, added:

“It is of some reassurance the government has recognised the need to support small and medium businesses during this crisis, and the new Government loans will go some way to alleviate short term cash flow issues.

However, supporting our self-employed residents is essential to our local economy.  We don’t know yet what the full implications of COVID-19 will be, but we do know that more assistance must be provided to the self-employed, so that they are supported during this difficult time.”

For more information visit

When are York food stores open?

With a little help from MinsterFM, we’ve put together a matrix showing the priority shopping arrangements and opening hours for York food supermarkets. The opening hours are subject to change at short notice.

We’ll update it as and when information become available. To download please click here

Links to individual store information is as follows (click for link)















Marks and Spencers






The Food Warehouse

Corona virus update – 23rd March 2020

Morrisons offer food in a box for a week

The discount supermarket chain has just launched a new initiative of special food boxes, aimed at getting foods to people who are struggling to place orders online.

According to their website, each box includes ‘a selection of everyday items’ dependent on current availability of food and household goods .

There are two options: vegetarian or meat.

Elderly or vulnerable customers – such as those with underlying health issues who have been ordered to remain indoors – will be prioritised.

The boxes are fairly affordable at £30, with a £5 delivery fee on top (so £35 in total) and will feed two adults for one week.

As an example, the vegetarian box might contain canned baked beans, soup, dairy products, rice and pasta (yes, really), carrots and more.

Meanwhile, in the meat version, you also get chicken or beef.

But if you’re allergic, be careful as no guarantees can be made for specific requirements – so read the label before you dig in.

Housing reform proposals get mixed response in York

The government have published proposals which could see significant changes in the way that homes are planned and delivered in York. click

Government paper March 2020

The proposals include plans to make better use of brownfield (previously developed) land and a requirement for all local authorities to have an approved Local Plan.

One aspect, that has attracted local criticism, is the paragraph covering the introduction of “new rules to encourage building upwards, increasing density in line with local character and make the most of local infrastructure”. Permitted development rights (PDR) would be extended to allow residential blocks to be increased by up to two storeys. Some have claimed that this might affect views of The Minster. Indeed, it might, particularly if the proposals are applied to conservation areas and local PDRs have not already been restricted by the local Council.

That does need to be clarified before changes are published later in the year.

But the White Paper also includes some positive messages.

March 2020
Barbican development site

As well as plans to make better use of brownfield land, the paper says it will ensure land allocated for housing is built on. That will ring a bell with some who regularly walk past derelict sites like that next the Barbican. It has had planning permission for homes for over 5 years.

Many will also feel sympathy for the proposal to improve security for tenants by abolishing the use of ‘no fault evictions’. The papers says, “that tenants can put down roots in their communities and plan for their long-term future”.

Local amenity organisations will surely welcome proposals to revise the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to embed the principles of good design and placemaking – “this will make clear that high-quality buildings and places must be considered throughout the planning process”?

Another commitment is for urban tree planting and giving communities a greater opportunity to influence design standards in their area. “This will put tree lined streets at the centre of future plans, so that they become the norm not the exception”

The government plans to give local authorities the ability to ensure that new homes conform to “local residents’ ideas of beauty” through the planning system. “Using the National Model Design Code, we will set out clear parameters for promoting the design and style of homes and neighbourhoods local people want to see. We will ask local places to produce their own design guides and codes, informed by listening to local people and considering local context”.

There is more than a whiff of centralised control about the paper and, of course, the actual implementation of ideas often proves illusive.

The world and the City may in any event look very different in 6 months time.

But there is still something to be positive about in the White Paper

Council urges better social distancing while preserving emotional wellbeing

City of York Council is offering advice on how people can look after their emotional wellbeing while social distancing – two metres apart – and isolating themselves to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

On Friday, new social distancing measures were announced by the Government, which has resulted in the closures of pubs, cafés nightclubs, bars, theatres, restaurants, leisure centres and gyms across the city and the country.

This latest measure is to further support social distancing, which involves:

  • Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
  • Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
  • Working from home, where possible;
  • Avoiding gatherings with friends and family but keeping in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Using telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

You can find out more at

In response, City of York Council is encouraging residents to look after their wellbeing during this period of social distancing.

Ways to look after your well-being include:

  • Try and see this time as a different period in your life and a chance to do things and be in touch with others in different ways.
  • Talk and keep in touch with the people who matter to you regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone.
  • Create a new daily routine which includes time to look after yourself.
  • Make sure your wider health needs are being looked after – including having enough prescription medicines available to you.
  • Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak such as – this could help you feel more in control.
  • Talk to your children and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm.
  • Reassure people you know who may be worried and check in with those you know who are living alone.

Continue reading

Corona Virus Update – 22nd March 2020


Sainsbury’s has changed its new opening time policy for the elderly and vulnerable and NHS staff. The chain now says it will open half an hour earlier for all NHS staff each day at 7.30am.

While special shopping times for the elderly or at-risk will continue to be every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am-9am.


Morrisons has changed its hours. 7am – 8am Mondays to Saturdays, are for NHS workers (need badge), Normal hours 8am – 8pm. Sundays, 10am – 4pm.

Changes that most supermarkets are making although some are reserving first hour on some days for over 70’s.  Really need the Council, Make it York or Chamber of Trade to put up a web site with opening hours, delivery slot availability and stock position information for all stores.

Council newsletter planned

The York Council has pledged to issue a newsletter to every residence in the City giving Corona virus advice before the end of the week. 

National Trust
We’ve closed our parks and gardens to restrict the spread of coronavirus, as well as, built properties. Many of our car parks for countryside and coastal locations are now likely to be closed. We urgently request people to stay local, observe social distancing and to not travel.


Self employed

An important message for self-employed residents of York from City of York Council.

Libraries to expand online and home delivery service

This follows the Government’s announcement yesterday that pubs, restaurants, cafes and leisure centres are to close.

A service to safely deliver and collect books for those who can’t access the internet are also being scaled up. Residents now don’t have to return borrowed items until 30th June, and won’t be fined.

After receiving advice from Public Health, from midday today (Saturday 21 March, 12 noon), Explore Libraries are moving their services online.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said:

Explore Library and Archives already has many fantastic online services and are working quickly to create even more.

“In this period of social distancing and self-isolation, I hope and expect residents’ engagement in York’s library service to rocket.

Reading for pleasure is a brilliant and restful way to relax, especially important for those in self isolation, and will continue to support people’s emotional wellbeing whilst they are at home.”

City of York Council will be working with communities in the coming week to ensure community hubs are in operation across York, supporting the most vulnerable residents with foods and medicines, and making the most of the city’s increasing pool of volunteers.

We’re also looking at how council services which currently run from Explore’s Library Learning Centres can be delivered differently; we’ll keep you informed about them as soon as possible.

Fiona Williams, chief executive of Explore Learning Library Centre, said:

We are working hard and in close partnership with City of York Council to deliver a range of online services to support people at this difficult time.

“We are also looking at ways to safely deliver books to those who can’t access the internet. Any items currently on loan from us don’t need to be returned until June – and we won’t be fining anyone for them!

“Please look out for and enjoy our new and existing services at”

Residents who would like to help the city through this difficult time and volunteer, are being asked to sign up by email: or telephone: 01904 551550, or visit:

We will ask for details of their skills and capacity, match them to an existing voluntary group or train them ourselves, coordinating with city groups and council requirements, manage them to deliver support where it is needed.

Residents who do not currently have any access to support, but who need help because of impact of COVID-19, are asked to contact our Community Support Coordinators by email: or telephone: 01904 551550 for assistance.

Vulnerable Groups

NHS England is set to write to 1.5 million peple in the UK most at risk.

Those at-risk people will receive letters or text messages, strongly advising them not to go out for 12 weeks to protect themselves.

This includes people who have received organ transplants, are living with severe respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis or specific cancers, such as blood or bone marrow.

York Corona cases

The number of coronavirus cases in York increased by two – from six to eight. No confirmation  has been published on the number of early cases (from Janaury) who have now recovered 

Corona virus update – 21st March 2020

….and here’s a list of some more small independent shops and takeaways offering delivery  in York

Robinsons, Bishopthorpe Road – Takeaway and local delivery Call 01904 674447

Trinacria, Bishopthorpe Road –  Home delivery 07421058429

Star Seed Catering – offering deliveries to your door

Dough Eyed Pizza – Delivery. Order online

The Crooked Tap, Acomb – Delivering beer locally

Tea on the Green, Acomb  – Takeaway tapas. Call 01904 789380

Le Cochon Aveugle, Walmgate – About to start up a 3 course meal delivery. Check out their social media

Cakes D’licious, Clifton –  Open and delivering cakes. Call 01904 541100

The Hairy Fig, Fossgate – Open and delivering 01904 677074 or email or text 07884493309

Frutique, Bishopthorpe Road – Open and delivering  fruit and veg. Call 01904 653821

Miller Food Service, Dunnington – Open on Sunday as a Cash and Carry and now delivering to the public. Call on 01904 655368

Alligator, Fishergate – Open for all things veggie/vegan and cheese

Good Food Shop, Bishopthorpe Road – Their delivery service for those isolated and in need of food is ready to go. Call 01904 637445 and they will get food to people via their amazing volunteers. Please call 9am – 2pm and keep trying if they don’t answer straight away.

Bluebird Bakery, Little Shambles- Home deliveries of bread. Email with your name, address, tel and order and we’ll tell you what day we can get it to you and how to pay

Pairings Wine Bar, Castlegate – Offering free toilet roll with every bottle of takeaway wine!

Richardson Woodthorpe Butchers will deliver

“We have had a lot of concerned customers (elderly especially )regarding getting out and about
From next Tuesday we are delivering to the over 70s or members of public who can’t manage to get out with our big man on a bike (woodthorpe only) no order to big or too small.

To other areas we will delivering in our van”.
You can order online (shopping baskets and PayPal all in place)
Or 01904 707876 pay over the phone

Marks & Spencer reserves time for vulnerable and NHS workers

“We are reserving the first hour of trade every Monday and Thursday, as a special shopping hour for our more vulnerable and elderly customers to help them get the food and products they need. For our NHS and emergency service workers, who we will all be relying on in the coming weeks and months, we will reserve the first hour of trade on a Tuesday and Friday for them to shop.

To help make sure all of our customers can get what they need, we have introduced temporary purchasing restrictions on some lines

York Council tenants told to report urgent/emergency repairs only

We’re focussing our work on our most vulnerable tenants so please only report urgent or emergency repairs. Please find out more about Building services during coronavirus here:


York Explore Libraries closed

A lot of free reads on Kindle. See one offer below.

“If you are going to be stuck inside, here’s the Kindle version of ‘Slouching Towards Blubberhouses’, my (hopefully amusing) book about Yorkshireness, available for nowt* until Wednesday. Please RT *free of charge”

On line” home delivery web site being set up (national)

Still in its infancy, but this is the kind of resource that is needed in York. Takeways – including cafes and pubs which have recently been ordered to close – should take note.

Home deliveries

West of York villages: Ainsty Farm Shop- ” We are offering a home delivery service to the local area on our way home after work, please ring us on 01423 331897. Priority will be given to more vulnerable groups

Free bike loans

Free 3 month bike loans for key workers! Would a bike loan make your life easier? We currently have 8 bikes, including electric bikes and child carrying equipment, languishing at Cycle Heaven. Just email

York Council reassures local businesses

City of York Council has moved to reassure businesses following the government’s announcement that pubs, cafés, clubs, bars, theatres, restaurants, leisure centres and gyms will close tonight.

The council has sought to reassure those who own business in the retail, hospitality or leisure with this message: If you pay your business rates by Direct Debit, we will stop your Direct Debit before the 1 April.If you pay by cash, don’t pay. If you pay by standing order – please cancel it. If we take a payment from you and you think you are an exempt business – contact us and we’ll pay you back straight away if we have made a mistake.

Today’s statement comes after yesterday, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Keith Aspden provided an update on the council’s coronavirus response and announced that it will create its own emergency fund to support local residents, business and communities in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus, whilst acting swiftly to make sure residents and businesses can access the Government’s support packages as swiftly as possible.

Ian Floyd, Interim Head of Paid Services City of York Council, said:

This is truly an unprecedented time for our city and country, which is having a huge impact on everyone.

“In York our leisure and hospitality sector is a key part of what makes the city such a special place to live, visit and work.

It is important that we all stick together to beat COVID-19 before it’s too late and we are keen everyone follows all the government measures around social isolation, including avoiding social contact wherever possible.

We welcome today’s Chancellor’s announcement that will protect 80% wages across the city. We hope that this goes some way to alleviate the anxiety of residents about their employment. We are now working to make sure all our businesses can access support from both the council and the Government and will be announcing more information about our emergency fund for residents, businesses and communities early next week so people can get the help they need as quickly as possible.”

For more details about coronavirus visit

The latest information on support for businesses is available at

Council summarises community help availability

Since COBRA’s initial meeting on Covid-19, increasingly strict measures have been introduced by the government in an attempt to slow the infection rate of the Coronavirus, Covid-19. 

Five days in, the Council has initiated a wide-range of actions to support the city and its communities to respond and support local residents, organisations and businesses.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

It’s now five days since the Covid-19 COBRA meeting was called, and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness and offers of support from York’s residents and businesses.

“The disruption to our daily lives cannot be underestimated, with many people now isolated from their friends or concerned that their livelihoods are at threat.  People are working long hours to respond to the outbreak or care for the sick. Yet every day, I am encouraged by residents freely giving their time to support people they’ve never met, or businesses offering hotel rooms for key workers or food for older people, who can no longer get out.

Reflecting on the week and listening to our residents, there are five important things to highlight:

The strength of our communities is incredible. Within hours, facebook groups were coordinating requests for help or recruiting people keen to be there for their neighbours. We’re working with these groups and established voluntary groups to recruit, train and deploy volunteers in a safe and coordinated manner, in order to focus resources on supporting the most vulnerable in the city. We have also committed to administering our Safer Communities fund more swiftly, in order to enable local community groups to access new funding quickly in response to the outbreak.

For those who are interested and able to help volunteer, please get involved via the contact details are:

Many of our neighbours need our help. Whether collecting food or prescriptions or keeping isolated people connected and involved, we are working to match volunteers to where they are needed most. However, if you are on your own and you need help during this time please contact us:

Our economy is resilient but needs our help. Many of our businesses have adapted to the current climate, sharing new ideas with each other and inventing new models of delivery. Cafes now offer delivery and takeaway services, allowing them to continue to trade whilst supporting keyworkers. More information is at: Yet we must do more. The council is committed to helping our local economy and we have announced a local emergency fund to focus support to residents and businesses on top of the ones announced by the Government. Further detail of this fund will be shared next week and we will share regular communications direct with businesses. Next week we will be inviting businesses to share their contact details so we can get in touch.For now, please visit

We must do more. Public health colleagues are clear. To reduce the threat to our NHS, to slow down the infection and to keep make sure we don’t lose loved ones before their time, we must do more. Social distancing isn’t easy. It means doing things differently. At the council, as many people as possible are now working from home. We have stopped the majority of meetings and are vigorous in cleaning and hand washing. All of us have to limit the time we spend with other people. For more information:

This is a fast moving situation, to keep up to date with the latest information, either visit or follow our social media channels.

I’d like to take a moment to thank residents for their response to this crisis. If we continue to show this community spirit, work together, support each other and find new ways to stay connected, we will get through this. Our frontline workers both in the council and our partners have demonstrated the importance of key workers and public sector workers in health and social care, emergency services, local government and education are keeping the city and country safe. Together we can slow the infection down and help these vital services manage the response to this pandemic.”

Council details support available for local businesses

The York Council issued information for local businesses earlier today. They promise to update it regularly as national announcements are being made with increasing frequency.

For example the closure of restaurants and pubs mean that many may now wish to trade on a takeaway/home delivery basis.

The Council recently substantially increased its debt burden when it bought various retail buildings in the City so it has a vested interest in ensuring local businesses survive the current problems!

Click here for a link to the full statement