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Sheffield Lifestyle

Sheffield & South Yorkshire In Tier 3 Restrictions [UPDATED]

Sheffield City Centre from over Skye Edge
Sheffield City Centre from over Skye Edge

South Yorkshire will enter the highest level of restrictions from midnight on Wednesday 2 December, the Government has announced.

UPDATE: 4/1/21: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now announced a full national lockdown.

UPDATE: 30/12: In the latest review of Tiers, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that Sheffield & South Yorkshire will remain in Tier 3 into the New Year.

The region narrowly avoided being moved into Tier 4 despite many other areas being escalated to those levels of restrictions. Most of the country now sits in either Tier 3 or Tier 4.

Rises in restrictions are the result of a more infectious strain of Coronavirus spreading across the country.

In more positive news another vaccine has been approved for use and will begin rollout on 4 January. However, people must still adhere to the relative tier restrictions for their area until further notice to help reduce the spread of the virus — even if you are in receipt of a vaccine in the meantime.

Tiers continue to be reviewed every two weeks, or earlier if necessary.

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UPDATE 17/12: Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that Sheffield & South Yorkshire will remain in Tier 3 for the remainder of December.

However, looser restrictions will be in place for five days over Christmas which will allow up to three households to form a “Christmas Bubble” between 23-27 December. (Further update: Christmas restrictions have changed since this update — ‘Christmas Bubbles’ can now only be formed for one day).

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has shared some local statistics and issued a statement:

  • New infection rate in all ages – South Yorkshire’s rate ranges from 143 to 234 new cases per 100,000 people in the past 7 days
  • New infection rate in Over 60’s – South Yorkshire’s rate is 161 new cases per 100,000
  • Rate by which cases are rising and falling – South Yorkshire’s rate is between 8% and 5%, when it should be below 5%
  • Number admitted to hospital with Covid in the last week – South Yorkshire had 104 new cases
  • Pressure on the NHS – South Yorkshire had 632 people in hospital beds, around 1.5 times the spring peak

“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 that 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.

“But COVID is still deadly and is still spreading. The lockdowns have brought the rate of new infections down, but we are going into Christmas in a perilous position. Better treatments means fewer people are dying, but they are staying longer in hospital, occupying 632 beds across South Yorkshire – far above the peak of 400 in the spring. A surge in cases over Christmas, combined with the normal pressure on hospitals from winter flu, could put our NHS at a tipping point. We simply can’t risk the needless danger to our loved ones that would bring.

“We’ve already seen the first vaccinations in South Yorkshire. The light at the end of the tunnel is not just visible but growing brighter every day. That makes it all the more important to hold the line a little longer, so we do not unnecessarily lose lives just when the end is in sight.

“Nothing could be more natural than to want to see our family and friends over Christmas. But the best present we can give our loved ones is a COVID-free Christmas, and our communities, businesses and NHS cannot afford a third spike in the virus in January. We are so close to being able to spend time with our families as normal: we must not risk another lockdown and more loss of life for the sake of a few days.

“For now, in this season above all others, we have to think not just of our own safety but of our friends, our family, our community. Together, we can reach the finishing line that is getting closer every day.”Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region

“The NHS is coping during this second wave of COVID-19, but we need everyone to help us contain the spread of the virus in the coming weeks to reduce the number of cases coming into hospitals.  Recently, we had seen a steady decline in the number of cases but at the moment, we are seeing an increase in the numbers of patients with COVID-19 being admitted to hospital.

“The next few weeks are critical. If we start the New Year with the current numbers of patients in hospitals and see a further rise in cases following Christmas ‘bubbles’ at the same time as the usual winter impact on services, then this will put our NHS under severe strain. Our NHS Teams are working exceptionally hard to keep planned operations and care going and we now need you to help us, help you and your loved ones. Please take this virus seriously and play your part this festive season.”Professor Des Breen, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System Medical Director

“Our figures were going down, but sadly, this is no longer the case, therefore I believe it’s the right decision for us to remain in tier 3.

“Over the Christmas period, we will need to exercise caution and be aware of the risks associated with larger numbers of people gathering in small enclosed spaces. We really must all think about our safety and that of our loved ones when deciding whether we want to mix with 3 households or not over the five days when the rules are relaxed. One of the elements of Christmas in particular is about the young and the old being together and this is the greatest risk. Covid won’t be taking a Christmas break; it will still be taking its chances wherever and whenever it can.

“There are still many people in hospital, staff are exhausted and working extremely hard to keep going and we have Covid now at the same time as the peak winter pressures for all of the winter, not a month or so like last March.

“There are still many people in hospital, staff are exhausted and working extremely hard to keep going and we have Covid now at the same time as the peak winter pressures for all of the winter, not a month or so like last March.

“There are still many people in hospital, staff are exhausted and working extremely hard to keep going and we have Covid now at the same time as the peak winter pressures for all of the winter, not a month or so like last March.

“We must, then, do the right things which are to remember to keep two metres away from those not in your bubble, wear a mask in crowded places and public settings, wash your hands regularly, use separate towels and don’t touch your face with hands that are not clean. We all need to do this to protect our families and friends and to protect ourselves.

“I thank all those in the city who have been vigilant, which I know hasn’t been at all easy. We must still continue to follow the guidance and whilst we know that the introduction of a vaccine will start to make a difference, the rollout will take considerable time.”  Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield

Sheffield in Tier 3 of lockdown restrictions

The government has announced that Sheffield and South Yorkshire will be placed into Tier 3 of restrictions when the current national lockdown ends.

Tier 3 — “Very High” — is the highest level of restrictions that can be imposed on an area.

Additionally, new measures for Tier 3 areas have been announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in Parliament today.

In reviewing the tiers, the Government says they considered a number of indicators, including:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups
  • Case detection rates in the over 60s
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
  • Pressure on the NHS

Tier 3 restrictions for Sheffield: What it means

The UK’s tiering system has been adjusted recently, restrictions for Tier 3 include:

  • No mixing with other households indoors, in private gardens and pub gardens
  • Groups of up to six allowed in other outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
  • Hospitality venues (bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants, etc) must close, except for delivery and takeaway services
  • Spectator sports cannot resume
  • Indoor entertainment venues (i.e. bowling alleys, cinemas, etc) must close
  • People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas
Government poster for Tier 3 of Covid Restrictions from 2 December
Government poster for Tier 3 of Covid Restrictions from 2 December

Tiers will be reviewed fortnightly.

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis calls for a “credible roadmap”

In tweets following the announcement, Sheffield City Region’s Mayor Dan Jarvis has called for “better test & trace” and a “credible roadmap”.

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Dan Jarvis stated: “The Government has put South Yorkshire into Tier 3 from December 2. We must not stay there a moment longer than we have to.

“We need better test & trace; better, fairer support for our people & businesses; and above all a credible roadmap out.”

Community Testing to be expanded in Tier 3 Areas

Matt Hancock also announced today that Community Testing will be expanded in Tier 3 areas.

The programme is available to all local authorities under the highest level of restrictions.

Hancock stated that the more people get tested, the quicker an area can have restrictions eased, giving Liverpool’s move to Tier 2 in the new levels as an example.

The Health Secretary said: “We’ve seen in Liverpool where now over 300,000 people have been tested how successful this community testing can be.

“It hasn’t been easy and sadly many people in Liverpool have lost their lives to Covid. But thanks to people sticking to the rules and to the huge effort of community testing, Liverpool’s cases are now low enough for the whole city region to go into tier two.” 

Hancock added: “This shows what we can do when we work together – we can beat the virus.”

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Sheffield’s Director of Public Health comments

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield, has issued the following statement following the Government’s announcement:

“The important thing for us at the moment is to remember that although our rates are coming down they do remain too high so my message to everyone is to carry on doing the right thing to beat this virus; wash your hands, don’t touch your face with hands that aren’t clean and keep your distance – that two metres between you and another person makes all the difference.

“As we know, this is a virus that kills 1% of the people it infects and we have many people in the city who are at a higher risk than others from it. We have to remain vigilant. We’re not out of the woods yet and, even though we are hearing good news about a vaccination it is not in place yet so this is a crucial  time for us to keep following the rules.

“That said, what Sheffielders are doing is working. We have the second or third lowest rates in Yorkshire which hasn’t happened by magic; it’s happened because a large proportion of people have followed the guidance and we thank them for that.”Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield

Council Leader Julie Dore statement

Julie Dore, Sheffield City Council Leader, has also issued a statement:

“The people of Sheffield have sacrificed so much this year due to the impact of coronavirus and this week we have seen the reality that this will continue for the next few months. The government have announced continued restrictions and the tragic number of deaths across the country reported each day continue to reach levels we have not seen for months. We need to continue to act to get our infection rates down.

“The decision around which tier we are in has been taken by central government, there has not been input from local councils or Directors of Public Health. As Mayor Dan Jarvis has said it is important that the government give a full rationale for how they have made different determinations in different areas and also how you can get out of the restrictions you are placed in.

“Without this it will be harder to bring people along and to give hope that there is an end in sight to the sacrifices we are making. From the start I expressed my concerns about the localised lockdown system and we have seen the problems it creates with decisions about different places looking arbitrary. As we said before, businesses also need to be given enough support to get them through the higher level of restrictions they are being placed under than other parts of the country.

“We are all incredibly frustrated by the way that this continues to be handled by the government, however, it is important that people do continue to follow the restrictions as if we do not do this it is inevitable that the number of cases will rise and there will be more hospital admissions and tragically more people will die.”Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council

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Written By

Founder and editor of The Sheffield Guide. A lifelong Sheffielder with a local pride that lovingly crafts each and every piece created. Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide.

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