17 Dec Current Covid restrictions to remain in place in Sheffied
There will be no changes to the current tier system of restrictions across Yorkshire to control the spread of Covid-19.
The news was confirmed today (17 December) at a briefing held by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
It means despite calls from civic leaders to look again at the tiers, and to drop some areas with falling infection rates into the less restrictive tier two category, existing controls will remain at least until the end of the year.
Tier three regions will continue to include all of South Yorkshire, meaning people can only meet other households in outdoor public spaces like parks, where the rule of six applies, apart from during the Christmas exceptions.
Pubs and restaurants have to remain closed, except for delivery and takeaway. Indoor entertainment venues will stay closed.
But gyms and close-contact beauty services like hairdressers are able to open in all tiers.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region, responded: “I know this decision is absolutely the last thing our communities and businesses wanted to hear, another hammer blow to follow so many others.
“After the endless grind and hardship of this extraordinary, terrible year, simply having an ordinary Christmas would have been a huge relief. For many of our businesses, these days and weeks are critical to their survival.
“I would reiterate this decision was taken solely by central Government.
“Once again, Mayors and local leaders have been cut out of the decision-making process and not even afforded the basic courtesy of being consulted, or informed in advance, about this decision.
“These decisions are absolutely crucial to our residents, businesses and communities, but yet again they are being made about us, without us.
“I will keep fighting for more support to help our communities and our businesses get through this incredibly tough time.
“We secured £30m funding for business support in October, we’ve increased our own funding for business support and skills by £16.5m, and we’ve given our councils a £6m boost to help them cope amid the crisis.
“Existing grants to businesses have been increased for December to support them through such a critical period.
“We’ve also prepared a detailed Renewal Action Plan so we can not only recover from COVID but build a stronger, greener and fairer South Yorkshire in the process.”