IT is likely the Government will decide to keep South Yorkshire in Tier 3 when it reviews Covid restrictions next Thursday, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis has said.
Mr Jarvis said four of the five key indicators the Government looked at were still too high in the county as he called on national Government to involve mayors and local council leaders in the decision-making process.
"Our NHS services remain under massive pressure," he said.
"Over 600 people are currently in our region's hospitals with Covid, with more being admitted every single week.
"It is imperative that we avoid a devastating third wave in January and put more lives put at risk – just at the point that a vaccine is being rolled out.
"It’s likely, therefore, that the Government will decide to keep South Yorkshire in Tier 3 next week."
Mr Jarvis said the decision lay solely with national Government, while mayors and council leaders were still not being consulted or involved in any meaningful way in the decision-making process.
“These are decisions taken about us, not with us or by us – which is enormously frustrating and makes a mockery of the Government’s professed commitment to devolution," he said.
“Whatever the Government decides, I’ll continue to work around the clock with our local council leaders, directors of public health and our NHS to ensure that we get out of Tier 3 as quickly and as safely as possible."
The Government assess the infection rate in each area, as well as looking at how many over-60s are infected, the rate at which cases are rising or falling, the percentage of those tested who have Covid, and pressures on the NHS, when making its decision.
“I know the enormous challenges this will pose for our businesses, which is why we’re providing support for those severely affected by the restrictions through our Additional Restrictions Grant, making every pound go as far as possible to help those who have fallen through the cracks of national schemes," said Mr Jarvis.
"I’d urge eligible businesses to apply for those funds, and I’ll keep on fighting for the additional support and resources our businesses, supply chains and regional economy needs to weather the storm of this awful disease.
“There is now light at the end of the tunnel, with a vaccine already being rolled out across the country.
"But until we can ensure enough people have received the vaccine, the threat remains.
"We must all adhere to the guidance and do our bit to save lives and livelihoods.
"We are on the home stretch, but we must ensure that we all make it to the finish line.”