South Yorkshire is ‘highly likely’ to remain under strict tier 3 restrictions, Mayor of Sheffield Dan Jarvis has said today. The news comes just less than a week before the government announces the results of their first tier review since lockdown, where all areas of the UK will be reassessed and potentially placed into new tiers – dependent on a number of factors.
Speaking after an initial review of the current figures in the region, Jarvis said: “Four of the five key indicators for areas moving out of Tier 3 are still too high in South Yorkshire. Our NHS services remain under massive pressure.
“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.”
Jarvis added: “I’d reiterate that this decision lies solely with national government,
“Mayors and Council Leaders are 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.
“Whatever the Government decide, 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.”
While cases in Sheffield have decreased over the lockdown and tier 3 period, Doncaster currently faces the highest infection rate in Yorkshire – at 207 per 100,000 compared to Sheffield’s 129 per 100,000 (which sits below the national average).
Jarvis also spoke about the economical effects Coronavirus has had on South Yorkshire, saying: “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.
“There is now light at the end of the tunnel, with a vaccine already being rolled our 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.”
Last week, it was predicted that a whopping 72% of hospitality and pub businesses would face closure without further support from the government – as many will likely have to stay closed over Christmas, the biggest trading month of the year. The prediction came from the British Institute of Innkeeping, who have been lobbying for the government to overturn their decision to keep these businesses closed in tier 3 and provide larger grants to those struggling.