Tier Three Covid restrictions announced for South Yorkshire

Dan Jarvis

South Yorkshire is to enter Tier Three restrictions to try to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The official announcement was confirmed this morning following talks between Government ministers and the region’s leaders.

They mean pubs and bars which do not serve substantial meals have to close. Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will also have to shut.

Gym classes will not be allowed and social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households (but gyms will remain open).

People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.

And people must not socialise in a group of more than six in an outdoor public space.

Total funding available to South Yorkshire agreed with Government for the latest restrictions is £41m, including £30m to support the region’s businesses, and £11m for local authorities to support public health measures such as Test and Trace to stop the spread of the virus.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region, said: “Following extensive discussions with ministers, local council leaders and I have agreed with Government that South Yorkshire will move into Tier Three, the ‘very high’ alert level for coronavirus restrictions.

“The restrictions will come into force from 00:01 on Saturday 24 October and cover all four local authority areas – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

“We all recognise the gravity of the situation and have taken the responsible route to ensure we save lives and livelihoods, and protect our NHS.

“More older people are contracting the virus. The number of people with COVID in our hospitals has doubled over the last ten days, with no signs this will relent over the coming weeks. Inaction was not an option.

“We called on Government to offer a local lockdown lifeline for our local authorities and economy, and the new restrictions will be introduced alongside resources which mean we are better equipped to control the virus and limit some of the damage on jobs and businesses.

“While infection rates vary across South Yorkshire, collective action was the only practical choice to keep everyone in our region safe.

“If restrictions are effective, individual local authorities will be able to move to lower alert levels as soon as it is safe to do so, in consultation with fellow local leaders, myself and national government.”

Responding to news of the latest restrictions, Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chief executive, Tom Stainer, said: “These Tier three restrictions will be absolutely devastating for local pubs and breweries across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

“Publicans have done everything to make their premises COVID-secure, and have been operating at reduced trade for months whilst trying to recover from both the first lockdown and months of reduced consumer confidence as a result of restrictions like the curfew.

“If pubs across South Yorkshire are to avoid becoming a sacrificial lamb then they need a decent, long-term financial support package.

“This must properly compensate pubs for having to either close altogether – or stay open with extremely low footfall whilst they serve food

“It also needs to help pubs pay wages before the new jobs support scheme kicks in, as well as providing help in the weeks and months after restrictions are lifted if pubs and breweries are to have any chance of getting back on their feet and avoiding having to close their doors for good before Christmas.”