This is when local lockdown could be brought in for Sheffield
Written by Rother Radio News on 08/10/2020
Sheffield could be placed under tighter restrictions on Monday – but it remains unclear how severe they will be.
Sheffield has been bracing itself for restrictions after its infection rate shot up to 320.4 cases per 100,000 people, surpassing Bradford and putting it just behind Leeds.
A source told YorkshireLive: “We’re fully anticipating restrictions in Sheffield but we have absolutely no idea what they are going to look like.
“I’m sure we’ll be banned from mixing – I imagine we’ll be in that tier of mixing households.”
On Wednesday it was reported that pubs and restaurants could be closed in areas where infection rates are high and continue to climb, such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.
The pub closures form part of a new Tier system that the government could bring in as early as Monday, amid reports that the government’s advisers believe about 30 per cent of coronavirus exposure takes place in pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.
In Tier one, people would follow current social distancing rules such as the rule of six and abiding by the 10pm curfew. In Tier 2, people would have to follow the same social distancing rules but there would also be a ban on household mixing, and in Tier three, pubs and restaurants would be forced to shut.
The source expressed concerns that closing pubs and restaurants on Monday could mean people head to the pub in greater numbers over the weekend.
“If you’re telling people in Newcastle that the pubs are likely to close on Monday, and they believe hospitality is the greatest source of transmission, that surely is going to drive a massive wave over the weekend,” they said.
A separate source also said they anticipated that Sheffield would come under restrictions on Monday. They said they were unsure whether the restrictions would fall under the new Tier system or whether they would be bespoke like those introduced for the North East and Greater Manchester.
They added that it was still “up in the air” for other local authority areas in South Yorkshire where cases are also high.
Asked about whether the Tier system could be introduced on Monday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said the government was considering a “range of options”.
They added: “The data is kept under constant and close review and if we feel that we do need to take further action then we won’t hesitate to act.”
The spokesman also indicated more financial support would be offered to businesses hit by any new restrictions.
“Any decisions that we take will not be made lightly. Protecting jobs, particulary… in the UK’s hospitality sector, has been a priority throughout our response to the pandemic.”
Asked whether a new version of the furlough scheme would be rolled out for businesses forced to shut down, the spokesman said: “There’s a package of measures you have seen from the chancellor in recent weeks, and that includes support for businesses which have been required to close as a result of local lockdown measures, and the chancellor has also provided a package of support for employers and employees where they are not able to work full time.
“If we do have to take further steps then of course we will take seriously how we can support those businesses.”