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Coronavirus - update: Wednesday, 8 April

Coronavirus - update: Wednesday, 8 April

Published by May Norman at 7:36am 8th April 2020. (Updated at 5:58pm 8th April 2020)

Coronavirus pandemic: Wednesday, 8 April

Stray FM has put together an advice page - which can be found here.

We are also updating this interactive article DAILY, with the latest local information.

Here's what you need to know (this page will be regularly updated):


Council tip closures prompt renewed call for action on fly tippers

The coronavirus pandemic has forced councils to temporarily close their household recycling centres to the public, prompting fears of an increase in fly tipping incidents. Some councils have also scaled back bin collections.

The CLA encourages both landowners and farmers, along with the public, to report any fly tipping incidents to their local authorities.

CLA Director North Dorothy Fairburn said:

“It is shocking to hear reports of fly tipping incidents especially at this time of lock-down. The closure of tips is understandable, but can’t be used as an excuse to dump rubbish in our countryside.

“Local authorities don’t usually get involved with clearing incidences of fly-tipped waste from private land leaving the landowner cleaning up and footing the bill, and if not, they risk prosecution for illegal storage of waste. This is simply not right or fair.”


National Sheep Association calls for respect from walkers 

The National Sheep Association is calling for the public to observe the lockdown rules more closely.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker explains:

“There is no doubt this lockdown is difficult and is taking its toll on the British  people. We are all feeling the effect, and NSA completely understands the frustration and the want to get outside – particularly with the lovely weather. However, we mustn’t forget that the fields we’re walking across are where our food is produced, and by being there we put the people producing our food at risk.” 
“By travelling to farms you are risking passing on this dangerous virus to a food producing farmer, and that is simply not acceptable. We all know the rules – and simply put, travelling to walk somewhere a car drive away from your home is not necessary."



Two more coronavirus deaths in Harrogate

The NHS has released updated figures 

You can read more here.  


Train companies urging against non-essential travel over Easter 

Train companies are warning people against all non-essential travel this Easter weekend.

British Transport Police, Northern and TransPennine Express have joined together to launch a campaign to remind people that it's not acceptable to use the railway for leisure activities.

Train operators have introduced amended timetables to help key workers get from A to B and to help those whose journeys are essential.

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said:

“Our amended timetables are designed to provide support for those who have to make essential journeys. At the moment, our services should not be used for leisure travel and those doing so are putting themselves – and others – at risk."



Police to patrol Yorkshire Dales National Park this weekend 

Ahead of the Easter weekend ,the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is appealing for the public to stay at home.

David Butterworth, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said:

“Don’t be the person that thinks ‘I’ll pop to the Dales because it’ll be quiet’. Don’t be the person that thinks, ‘it’s Easter, we can stay at the holiday house’. And don’t be the person that thinks it’ll be fine to come cycling with friends. 

“We heard these excuses last weekend and it’s unacceptable. The public must not make unnecessary trips to, or around the National Park, whether visitor or local. Our Ranger Service will be out this Easter weekend supporting North Yorkshire and Cumbria Police to encourage people to heed this advice”.


Further 828 people have died due to COVID-19

A further 828 people, who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 6,483.

46 of the 828 patients (aged between 35 and 96 years old) had no known underlying health condition.  

None of the confirmed deaths in the last 24 hours were in the Stray FM area. 

Read the full story here


Beware of door-to-door scammers!

Scammers are using issues around social distancing to target local residents with scams.

North Yorkshire Police have received reports of fraudsters knocking on doors and offering to pick up shopping/essentials for vulnerable people before making off with bank cards and cash.

Be vigilant and only trust cards/cash with people you know!


Police remind firearms holders about coronavirus regulations

Police are reminding firearms certificate holders about the importance of following national coronavirus regulations.

Yesterday North Yorkshire Police revoked the shotgun certificates of two men who were found to be shooting on land near Ripon.

The men were shooting on land where they did not have permission, and in breach of current coronavirus guidance.

“I would like to reiterate the advice I have given certificate holders, which is if shooting is part of your work or employment, or it has been specifically requested by a landowner to protect their crops or livestock, then it is permitted.

“However, any other shooting that is not part of a business is not essential, and should not be carried out at this time."

Inspector Andrew Palmer, Head of Firearms Licensing at North Yorkshire Police

Read the full story here


Police ask people to avoid Harrogate's Valley Gardens

Harrogate Police are encouraging people to act responsibly after they have been visiting Valley Gardens despite government advice.

The popular park has been a hotspot for sunbathing and walks, with some people even visiting the park's play areas, tennis courts and skate park.

Please follow government advice and stay at home unless making a journey that is absolutely necessary.


Hundreds of plants donated around Hammerton

A nursery in the Harrogate district has donated hundreds of plants to surrounding communities in isolation.

Johnsons of Whixley has distributed seasonal garden plants to villages close to its business in Kirk Hammerton.

It normally supplies plants to garden centres but due to the coronavirus, it's been forced to close.

The owners decided to give them away and not waste perfectly good plants.

Read the full story here


Prime Minister 'responding to treatment' in ICU

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care but is 'responding to treatment,' according to Downing Street.

The PM remains in "good spirits" after spending his third night in hospital, his spokesman said.


Special delivery for NHS Nightingale Team

A challenging few days at NHS Nightingale ended on a high thanks to a special delivery from the team at Bettys!

The Harrogate tearoom delivered an assortment of cakes, chocolate and coffee to give the key workers at NHS Nightingale, which is located at Harrogate Convention Centre, a much-needed boost.

Well done to Bettys and the NHS Nightingale Team for everything you're doing for us! 👏


Rick Astley latest celeb to duet 'Thank You Baked Potato'

Matt Lucas' popular song 'Thank you Baked Potato' has become a hit since he released it on his social media last week to raise money for the NHS.

And following on from Gary Barlow's duet with the Little Britain comedian, Rick Astley is the latest celeb to belt out the now-famous earworm!

Watch the full video on Matt Lucas' YouTube channel:


Which Harrogate shops are still open?

Some of the big shops in Harrogate remain open for essentials - but make sure you check before travelling to avoid unnecessary journeys!

Some of the major stores including M&S Food Hall, Holland & Barrett, Superdrug and ASDA are open - check out an extended list from Harrogate BID below:


Council urge people to plan ahead of Easter weekend

North Yorkshire County Council are gearing up for a relief service during the Easter bank holiday, but have urged people to plan ahead.

Shops that had previously been open or running delivery services despite COVID-19 restrictions may be closed.

Sarah Foley, Customer Service Centre Manager at North Yorkshire CC, has asked shoppers to 'think ahead about what you might need.'


Wuhan celebrate end of lockdown with spectacular party

China has ended coronavirus lockdown measures in Wuhan - 11 weeks after it became the epicentre of what has since developed into a global crisis.

Authorities have begun allowing its 11 million residents to travel in and out of the sprawling city where the pandemic began without special authorisation.

Under new rules, people are now allowed to enter and leave on the condition a mandatory smartphone application powered by a mix of data-tracking and government surveillance shows they are healthy and have not been in recent contact with anyone infected.

Read the full story here


North Yorkshire to transform adult social care in coronavirus battle

North Yorkshire County Council have announced they will be moving frontline social care teams into a new way of working this week to support local residents better and to help the NHS.

For the time being, it will be a mix of business as usual in most services, alongside major changes to help local hospitals free up the beds they need to treat people who are critically ill and to try and avoid new admissions to hospital unless vital.

From this week, North Yorkshire County Council’s social care teams are providing a seven-day-a-week 8am-8pm service.

Read more here


Two men arrested for bank robbery during lockdown

Two men have been arrested by North Yorkshire Police investigating a robbery in Harrogate.

The men, aged 60 and 28, are being investigated in connection with the robbery at the Co-operative Bank on Prospect Crescent just before 1pm on Monday (6th April).

It is reported that threats of violence were made towards a member of staff before a suspect left with a quantity of cash.

Read the full story here


York festival yet to make decision amid coronavirus crisis

The organisers of York Festival – due to take place on 19-21 June with headline acts including Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness – have declined to say whether the event is still due to go ahead following the coronavirus outbreak.

Tickets for the festival – which cost between £50 and £192 for a day pass – were still on sale at 5pm yesterday, Tuesday.

And more than 17,000 tickets have already been sold – the promoters said in February.

Read the full story here


How will exam results work?

Worried students in Harrogate have been told how their GCSE and A-Level grades will be awarded this summer – almost three long weeks after exam preparations were thrown into chaos by the coronavirus.

Ofqual, which oversees schools’ public examinations, announced that teachers will be asked to grade pupils on how they think they would have achieved – and these recommendations will then be moderated by exam boards.

The substitute system was swung into place by the government in March and will now affect thousands of Harrogate students who have been left in limbo until results are handed out in August.

Read the full story here


Vets issue correct information regarding cats

The British Veterinary Association have been busting myths around cats during the COVID-19 pandemic and insist they're NOT advising they be kept indoors!

Previous reports suggested cats should be kept in the house to avoid the spread of coronavirus, however they have clarified their statement in that only cats from infected or self-isolating households should be housebound as a precaution.


Tui cancel all flights until May

Tui, the UK's biggest travel firm, has suspended beach holidays until 14th May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an announcement via Twitter, the company reassured travellers that their promise still stands and all holidays up to 30th June can be amended for free.


A bit of fun for your Wednesday...

The World Cup of Yorkshire is set to kick off at 10am on Welcome to Yorkshire's Twitter page - pitting landmarks across the area against each other until a winner is crowned!

Get involved this morning and make sure your favourite comes out on top!


Raw materials needed!

Harrogate Grammar School needs your help to continue they great work they've been doing in producing protective equipment for NHS workers battling coronavirus.

They've had a production line going over the past week in their design department to create protective masks, but they need more 5mm or 8mm sheets of polypropylene!

If you can help get them the supplies they need, get in touch with Harrogate Grammar School via social media now!


Changes to bin collection days

Don't forget, due to coronavirus, there are some changes to normal bin collection days.

This week’s collections will be earlier than normal and are listed below...  

  •  Wednesday - Collected today (Tuesday)  
  •  Thursday - Collected on Wednesday  
  •  Friday - Collected on Thursday 

Let's say THANK YOU to those key workers

It's Stray FM's Key Worker Wednesday!

It's an opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to those who work around the clock across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale to keep the area running during the coronavirus pandemic.

We'll be giving a nod to all essential workers.

If you know of someone who deserves the recognition, get in touch with us - via text, email, WhatsApp or on social media.

Or click here.


Policing of COVID-19 too much?

A third of people think police officers' actions during the Covid-19 lockdown have gone too far in some cases.

A few forces have set up roadblocks or used drones to catch motorists making unnecessary journeys. 

As of Monday (6 April), North Yorkshire Police handed out 11 fines for those who're flouting the government guidelines - but the force says the fines are a last resort.

More than 40 per cent of those questioned by YouGov fully support the approach though.

What do you think?


Adhere to the guidelines!

Police across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale are reminding people about why social distancing measures are as important as ever, especially over the coming Easter period.

Only yesterday, officers were in Harrogate speaking to those who are ignoring government advice.

Some were having picnics, other residents were drinking in the streets and groups were congregating in the town centre.


"Peak in North Yorkshire likely to be in one or two weeks"

The Coronavirus Peak in North Yorkshire could be a number of weeks behind the peak in places like London.

That's according to Richard Flinton - Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council and Chairman of the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum.

He's also released a statement with North Yorkshire Police on the importance of following the government's crucial advice.