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York’s tourism, hospitality and retail sectors work together to keep the city safe

Following the news last week that York has been placed at the high level (tier 2) of the government’s new three-tier restriction system, York’s retail, hospitality and tourism businesses are working with Make It York and City of York Council to ensure the city remains safe for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Working closely together, organisations including York BID, Indie York, Hospitality Association York (HAY) and York Retail Forum are continuing to promote the city safely and support York’s diverse and vibrant local business community.

With robust safety measures in place across the city, York’s attractions, shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels are going above and beyond to ensure the city continues to be safe.

From the ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation at 169 venues across the city which demonstrates the high-standard safety measures in place – to the implementation of ‘Track & Trace’ systems and enhanced cleaning processes, York’s businesses have worked incredibly hard over the last few months to create controlled safe spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy safely.

Sean Bullick, managing director of Make It York said: “It continues to be a challenging time for York’s tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, and now, more than ever before, it’s crucial that we support our local York businesses – shopping local with independent traders, retailers and restauranteurs and working collaboratively to ensure York remains a safe space for all.

“At Make It York our teams are working very hard to support and promote the city’s tourism, hospitality and retail businesses: from implementing the tourism marketing recovery strategy alongside City of York Council, to ensuring Shambles Market has robust safety measures in place, to working with individual businesses to provide business support and advice on access to funding.

“We’re also developing plans for a safe, warm and welcoming Christmas in York for our residents and people who can safely visit the city.

“Our beautiful city has so much to offer, and by pulling together and supporting one another we can ensure it remains a safe space for people to enjoy, with all the special and remarkable places open that make York York.”

City of York Council has been working with partners and businesses across the city to promote safety best practice – including encouraging everyone to adopt the ‘Hands Face Space’ guidelines: wash hands regularly, wear a mask indoors and adhere to social distancing with those not in your household.

Coun Darryl Smalley, executive member of Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council said: “Whilst the new Tier 2 measures mean that mixing indoors is currently restricted, there are still many ways that residents and visitors can relax and enjoy the city’s unique offer – including work being done by the businesses, the Council, York BID and Make It York to look at creating new safe outdoor spaces in the city centre, with details to be announced shortly.

“Despite this year’s significant challenges, York has demonstrated what it does best − pulling together and supporting each other. None of this would have been possible without the support and commitment of our brilliant publically-spirited businesses who have pulled together to make sure the city remains a safe and enjoyable place to visit.”

Sharon Stoltz, director of Public Health at City of York Council said: “Thanks to all the businesses and people who have done so much throughout this pandemic. We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus and it is as important as ever that we continue to look after ourselves and each other.

“Washing our hands, wearing a face covering in busy public spaces and keeping a safe distance from those you don’t live with remain our best defence against the virus. Self-isolating if asked to do so by test and trace or if you have symptoms of Coronavirus is also crucial. When supporting our fantastic local businesses please practice Hands Face Space, as we all work collectively to slow the spread of the virus.”

Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID said: “While York’s businesses are resilient and adaptable, they still need support from the local community. There are many hospitality businesses with outdoor spaces that can still be enjoyed with friends, and we are looking to utilise public domain space to add to this in the coming weeks.

“York’s businesses continue to rise to the challenge of providing a safe and secure environment to carry out shopping and leisure activities, and we are committed to assisting businesses with our cleaning teams, our Street Rangers, and providing hand sanitiser across the city centre.”

Martin Bradnam, chair of York’s Hospitality Association said: “Hospitality is a key sector, employing many local people.  The epidemic has hit hospitality businesses hard, with many companies now having to make redundancies and difficult decisions.  If ever there was a time to ask for local support it is now.

“The hotel sector has really bought into and invested into providing a clean and safe environment for our guests, workforce and suppliers.  The feedback from guests has been really positive.

“Demand for staycations returned quickly to York following the last close down, which demonstrates the want for visitors to spend time in our vibrant city. We respect and are invested in the approach to recovery not only for our industry, but for all stakeholders in York.”

From all organisations and businesses across the city, the clear message is a need to ‘shop local’ and support independent businesses in the city through these difficult times.

Phil Pinder, chair of York Retail Forum said: “The shops in York have implemented procedures to keep you safe in store, from the big High Street names down to little independents. York is still an unrivalled City for shopping with a healthy mix of High Street names and very heavy mix of indie stores filling all the gaps in between. There is no better place for shopping and working together we will keep your safety our top priority.

While restrictions have been imposed on household mixing, retail in York has not been the cause of any outbreak and we will continue to play our part in offering our unique mix of retail in the safest possible way for all to enjoy.”

Residents and visitors are encouraged to get involved in activity such as Indie York’s Medieval and Magical Treasure Trail which takes place between October 24 and November 1 , to promote the city’s independent businesses and highlight medieval and historical attractions in the city and local areas.

Johnny Hayes, chairman of Indie York said: “York has a very strong independent sector with 65 per cent of the City’s businesses being independently run. But the present situation makes it very difficult for these businesses.

“It is very important that we all work together during this new phase of the global pandemic. We need to work with City of York Council, Make it York and York BID and other agencies to do our utmost to keep our City thriving and our independent business able to keep going during these difficult times.

“Our Medieval and Magical treasure trail during the half term holiday from October 24 to November 1, is a collective attempt to attract lots of local families and visitors to a safe event that we hope will support our independents in the City.”

For more information about experiencing York safely go to: https://www.visityork.org/general-and-tourist-info/covid19-update

 

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