City of York Council meetings go online over Omicron threat
City of York Council has moved all meetings back to an online-only format amid concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant.
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That means this year's last full council meeting on Thursday will not be held at York Racecourse as planned.
Most recent meetings took place in person and were also streamed online.
The UK Covid-19 alert has moved to Level 4, as transmission is high and direct Covid pressure on healthcare services is widespread and substantial.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said growth of the Omicron variant over the coming days would be "staggering", with infections currently doubling in less than two days in most UK regions.
She told a committee of MPs the new variant was "probably the most significant threat we've had since the start of the pandemic".
York Council said moving meetings online would encourage greater participation.
The government previously introduced new temporary legislation to allow decisions to be taken at virtual meetings.
The legislation lapsed in May meaning councillors had to ratify decisions in person, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
However, the authority said its constitution allowed the chief operating officer to make a decision in a situation "where the matter is urgent."
Decisions are to be made by councillors via virtual meetings and then formally ratified by the chief operating officer.
The council said it would review the decision after Christmas.