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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.

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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

COVID-19 guidance for Parents and Carers in York

Link to fuller information below

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement this week, City of York Council has been working with the Department for Education and with schools and early years settings across York to set out the plan for our children’s education across the coming months.

As you will know, many schools and settings are impacted by reduced staff levels as individuals follow government advice to self-isolate, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In response to this, schools and settings must remain open whilst managing lower numbers of staff.

Schools, colleges, nurseries, childminders and other registered childcare settings will remain open for children of key workers and vulnerable children where they can.

It is important to note that all childcare and educational settings remain safe places for children. So the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

The Government is advising that ‘every child who can be safely cared for at home should be’.  Their latest information for parents and carers is available online

Full statement about the situation in York click here

Chapelfields recycling being collected tomorrow (Saturday)

Council waste service update Friday 20 March

“All scheduled recycling waste collections have been made.

We were unable to collect household waste from Knapton House, Rawcliffe due to a blocked access.

We’ve recollected all outstanding recycling except from collections in Chapelfields.

We’ll collect any remaining Chapelfields recycling on Saturday 21 March. Please present your containers for collection by 7.00am”.

Plea to get empty Council space ready to meet hospital needs

York Councillor Mark Warters has suggested that empty York Council owned properties should be cleared, cleaned and used to provide additional hospital space should it be necessary.

Available empty properties include the brand new James House (which was due to open this month), Oakhaven and Willow House.  The latter are former care homes.

The properties could be used to supplement existing NHS hospitals. It is possible that additional space will be required for services such as pre and post illness infection testing.

Separately, it has been suggested that the Council be ready to reintroduce regular skip visits to local neighbourhoods. These would reduce the pressures on waste collection services where staffing levels are currently under pressure.

Skips visited many estates until about 5 years ago when the service stopped.

Their return could provide an alternative if uncollected waste causes a public health concern.

The Council are recruiting waste collection drivers and loaders now. Find out more by calling 01904 554234 or visiting

York Council recruiting more drivers and loaders for waste collection teams

City of York Council is bolstering all its front line teams together so that it can continue providing essential services across the city, including collecting your household waste (black bins), recycling boxes, cleaning York’s streets and collecting litter bins, carrying out pothole repairs and maintaining public toilets.

Unfortunately, we have experienced a reduction in our frontline workforce and this is having an impact on some services, including recycling collections. The council is doing everything it can to ensure collections continue and is working weekends to collect missed recycling where possible.

To make sure services can keep running we need to recruit more drivers and loaders in our waste services team so we have enough people ready and able to do the job.

We’re working with Work With York to recruit drivers and loaders now. Find out more by calling 01904 554234 or visiting

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member Climate Change, said: “It’s really important that we keep essential services running across the city such as household waste collections. We’re doing our best and have tried and tested measures in place, such as we did during Storm Dennis. But the reality is that these services like many others will face significant challenges. So we’re calling out for anyone who is physically fit, available and wants a temporary job. We want to help you so please contact Work With York and we’ll get you on our books and into our team as soon as possible.”

These are unprecedented times and this will mean some non-essential services will need to be temporarily suspended so that we can redeploy all our staff into keeping essential services running.

During Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara front line teams were redeployed into different services so that they could focus on protecting the city. This meant they had to ‘down tools’ temporarily on other work, and the same thing will happen again here.

As works are almost complete on the repaving scheme for Stonegate and the roadworks on Monkbar, we are aiming to complete these as planned. Other non-essential roadworks schemes will be temporarily suspended.

Check when your bins will next be collected, get the latest service updates and order a new bin – all online!

Corona Virus update – 20th March 2020

List of “Key workers” issued by government

20th March 2020


Details of Sainsburies assisted shopping schemes can be found via this link


Volunteer and Help Scheme

City of York Council are working with the many kind-hearted volunteers and with the established voluntary sector to recruit, train and deploy volunteers to support the most vulnerable in the city who do not have access to any help.

Residents who would like help and volunteer are being asked to sign up to or call 01904 551550, or go to The Council will ask for details of their skills and capacity, match them to an existing voluntary group or train them, coordinating with city groups and council requirements, managing them to deliver support where it is needed.

Those vulnerable residents who do not currently have any access to support, but who need help because of impact of COVID-19, are asked to email our Community Support Coordinators at or call 01904 551550 for assistance.

As the health and safety of our residents is our priority, this structured and safe approach to volunteering is to ensure people get the support they need in a co-ordinated and safe way.

Image may contain: possible text that says 'IE ALDI ALDI WE ARE RECRUITING Anyone looking for work during this difficult time, here at Aldi we have fixed term contracts that we can offer. If you are interested, please send me a message on here with your contact number or drop your CV into a local Aldi store and we will be in touch.'
UPDATE: We have been overwhelmed by the amazing response to this post. We currently have filled all vacancies however have a waiting list running in the background should any other opportunities open up