Officers urge people to stay at home after groups begin meeting in Ilkley on New Year's Eve

Officers in Ilkley have urged people to stay at home after receiving reports of groups meeting up on New Year's Eve.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 4:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st December 2020, 5:02 pm

It comes as rates of infection continue to rise across the country.

West Yorkshire Police officers in Ilkley reported that they had received calls about groups congregating by 4.30pm on Thursday, December 31.

A spokesman said: "Already had a number of calls regarding groups congregating at various points in Ilkley.

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"The rules are there to keep you safe and they apply to everyone.

"Please be sensible otherwise we will all be in this longer."

The Government has asked everyone to "see in the New Year safely at home" and not to mix indoors with other households.

Senior medical professionals have also warned people not to "add fuel to the fire", with one doctor saying people who do will have “blood on their hands”.

Officers in Ilkley have urged people to stay at home after receiving reports of groups meeting up on New Year's Eve.

Intensive care doctor Professor Hugh Montgomery told BBC Radio Five Live: “Anyone who’s listening to this who doesn’t wear their mask and behaves like this – they have blood on their hands, they are spreading this virus. Other people will spread it and people will die.

“They won’t know they’ve killed people but they have.”

Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle added: “The Christmas week saw a worrying rise in cases across every region of the country, particularly among adults in their 20s and 30s.

“We must not now add further fuel to the fire, as meeting in close and large groups this New Year’s Eve risks further transmission.”

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Millions of people across England are ending the year under the toughest coronavirus restrictions, with more than three-quarters of the country’s population ordered to stay at home, as swathes of the country were plunged into Tier 4 overnight.

The new restrictions mean a total of 44 million people, or 78 per cent of the population of England, are now in Tier 4, where non-essential shops, as well as gyms, cinemas, casinos and hairdressers, have to stay shut.

Trusts continue to face pressure, with Covid patient numbers in England having surpassed the April first-wave peak.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the military is standing by to staff Nightingale hospitals if the NHS exceeds its capacity of critical care beds.

A spokesman for the NHS said the Nightingale sites across England “are being readied to admit patients once again should they be needed”, and that hospitals in London are coming under significant pressure from high infection rates.

He said: “In anticipation of pressures rising from the spread of the new variant infection, NHS London were asked to ensure the London Nightingale was reactivated and ready to admit patients as needed, and that process is under way.”