Autumn half-term is no doubt going to feel a bit different for many families and young people this year.
With the current circumstances, many people’s plans may have been changed, postponed or sadly cancelled and lots of kids may find themselves at a loose end, wondering what they can and can’t do over the week-long break.
Over the past weeks, officers across the region have responded to a number of reports of young people congregating in large groups and being in breach of the rule-of-six. In the majority of cases, the groups have responded to engagement and encouragement and have dispersed without any need for enforcement. But with the half-term break approaching, police want to highlight the threat these types of gatherings pose to public health and the importance of continued adherence to the local Covid regulations.
Superintendent Mike Walker who is leading the North Yorkshire Police response to Covid-19 said;
“While it may feel that we are all due a well-earned break from the current situation and the rules and regulations, it’s times like this that we really do need to stick together and ensure we don’t let Covid gain any type of advantage.
“It’s a trying time for everyone, including parents and children, but it’s key that we remember the guidance and ensure that we don’t have a momentary lapse in our resilience to beat this virus.
“I would ask parents and carers to speak to their young people and remind them about the importance of following the guidance over the school holidays. Please remember that class bubbles do not apply outside of school and that outdoors you need to stick to the rule of six and keep the guidance around regular hand washing, maintaining social distancing and wearing face covers in mind.
“It only takes a short amount of interaction to spread this virus. So a short meeting of a large group of young people can raise the risk of transmission. We know from medical experts that many young people may not be adversely affected by the virus and indeed unaware they are carrying it. But they can pass it on to those more vulnerable in our families, and it’s them who pay the price for someone else’s poor decisions.
“Officers will be alert to any signs of breaches of regulations and will engage with any groups of young people to explain the consequences of their behaviour and encourage them to follow the guidance.
“I would appeal to parents and carers to have those conversations with their children, to ensure they are aware of the possible consequences of their actions and encourage them to adhere to the regulations.”
North Yorkshire Police are also reminding those currently residing in tier 3 areas, who had a visit to North Yorkshire planned for half-term about the advice not to travel outside of the ‘very-high alert’ area unless for work, education, youth service or caring responsibilities.
Superintendent Walker continued:
“North Yorkshire is notorious for providing a warm welcome to visitors. But at the moment, we would ask residents from tier 3 locations to please stay in their own area and help us with the containment of this virus. If we can maintain a united approach and stop the spread, I can assure you that when it’s safe to do so – North Yorkshire will welcome you with open arms.”News stories