SOUTH Yorkshire will move into Tier 3 — the highest covid alert level — from Saturday with a £41 million government support package.
The "very high" coronavirus restrictions will mean all pubs and bars that don’t sell food will have to close, and people will be banned from socialising with other households both indoors and in private gardens.
Local authorities will be given £11m to help public health measures, in particular test and trace, while businesses will get £30m in support.
From Saturday this means that:
• People will not be able to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of a household or support bubble. This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs.
• People will not be able to meet with people outside of their household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.
• Pubs and bars will be closed unless they are serving substantial meals.
• Office workers who can work effectively from home should do so.
• It will be advised to avoid travel where possible, in or out of the region, except for
essential journeys such as school, college and work. People may travel to open venues but should reduce the number of journeys.
The following restrictions on premises will be put in place:
• Soft play centres, casinos and adult gaming centres are to close.
• Leisure centre classes are not to take place, however leisure centres and gyms can remain
• Wedding receptions are not permitted.
• Betting shops and banqueting suites must also close.
Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford said: "I want to assure all my constituents here in Rother Valley that these restrictions will not be open-ended.
There will be a review in 28 days, by which time I hope cases have reduced and we are able to loosen restrictions."
Sheffield City Region mayor, Dan Jarvis, confirmed the plans this morning.
He said: "Following extensive discussions with ministers and local council leaders, I have agreed with Government that South Yorkshire will move into Tier 3, the 'very high' alert level for coronavirus restrictions. The restrictions will come into force from 00:01 on Saturday, October 24, 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 the 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.
"However, to reach that point as quickly as possible, it's critical people in South Yorkshire follow the new restrictions as soon as they are in place. I want to thank everyone in the region for their perseverance. The character and grit of people in South Yorkshire will be needed in abundance to help us get through what will be an incredibly challenging period.
“Our NHS staff have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to keep us all safe. We owe it to them to ease the pressure ahead of the toughest winter our health service will ever face. I know people will step up and do their bit."