SOUTH YORKSHIRE has been placed into Tier 3 "very high alert" Covid-19 restrictions as cases in the county sharply rose.
More than a million people in northern England will be banned from mixing with other households under tougher new coronavirus rules.
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Is South Yorkshire in Tier 3 lockdown?
South Yorkshire has been placed into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, including the Sheffield City Region.
Sheffield Mayor Dan Jarvis said: "Following extensive discussions with ministers, local council leaders and I have agreed with Government that South Yorkshire will move into Tier 3, the 'very high' alert level for coronavirus restrictions."
The restrictions, which will cover around 1.4 million people in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, came into force from 12.01am on Saturday, October 24.
Under the new rules, many pubs, bars, casinos and other venues will remain closed for at least four weeks and residents will be barred from meeting anybody outside their household indoors.
Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) warned that pubs and breweries across South Yorkshire will be "absolutely devastated".
Pubs and bars which don't serve "substantial" meals will be forced to shut under the restrictions.
The announcement means means 7.3 million people, or 13 per cent of England's population, will now be living under Tier 3 restrictions.
These include a ban on households mixing and the closure of pubs and bars which do not serve meals.
Tier 3 measures were recently announced for Liverpool City region,Greater Manchester and the county of Lancashire.
Britain has suffered Europe's worst death toll from coronavirus, with nearly 44,000 deaths, despite imposing a nationwide stay-at-home order in late March.
More than 21,000 new cases and 241 new deaths were reported on Tuesday, October 20.
How are Leeds and York affected?
People living in different tiers – including in nearby Leeds and York (both Tier 2) – will need to adhere to the Tier 3 rules if they go to South Yorkshire from Saturday October 24.
Leeds Live reported that "after being named in the Tier 2 measures, Leeds is now at a pivotal moment in its fight against Covid-19 – and there is a very real prospect it could go into stricter Tier 3 measures.
"Council leaders in Leeds have said that the city is on a government 'watchlist' and could be placed under the highest coronavirus alert level as they enter further negotiations."
On Friday, October 16, Leeds "narrowly avoided going into Tier 3," the website added.
Meanwhile in York, council bosses have angrily hit back at claims that it has already been placed in Tier 3.
Sharon Stoltz, director of public health, said: "There are currently no plans to move York into Tier 3 and we have not received anything from central government to suggest that this is likely," reported The York Press.
Here's what the Tier 3 restrictions mean for those in South Yorkshire:
- You can't meet socially with anybody who is not part of your household, or support bubble, indoors
- Those outside the county should avoid entering it, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey
- People should try to avoid travelling outside South Yorkshire due to it being placed under the Very High alert level
- Residents should also avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK
- Visitors are being told to avoid staying overnight in the area because of the Tier 3 classification
- No more than six can socialise in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
How many coronavirus cases are there in South Yorkshire?
In South Yorkshire, Covid infection rates are among the highest in the country, says the government.
These are continuing "to rise rapidly with Covid case rates ranging from 285 people per 100,000 in Doncaster up to 402 people per 100,000 in Sheffield," it adds.
This compares to England's average case rate of 169 people per 100,000 from October 9 to 15.
With the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 having doubled over the past ten days, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis said that South Yorkshire leaders had no choice but to act.
Sheffield has the majority of the coronavirus hotspots across South Yorkshire according to the latest figures, reports Yorkshire Live.
"One area of the city has a coronavirus infection rate of 901.9 per 100,000 and recorded almost 100 new cases of the virus in the space of seven days," it adds.
South Yorkshire's "top ten Covid hotspots", according to the website's stats, are: Endcliffe and Ranmoor; Highfield and Lowfield; Broomhall; Broomhill and Lower Crookesmoor; Ardsley and Stairfoot; Sharrow; Devonshire Quarter; Carcroft; Whiston and Bentley Rise.
Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton told the BBC: "Although these additional [Tier 3] restrictions come as no surprise, it's difficult to see our borough in such a severe situation.
"We understand the impact this virus is having on people's daily lives and on jobs and businesses.
"But Barnsley cases are spreading from young to old, putting more lives in danger, leading to more people in our hospital, more people becoming seriously ill, and sadly more people dying.
"We must act now to save lives and prevent our NHS from being overwhelmed."
The county's financial package agreed with the Government includes £30million to support the region's businesses and £11million for councils for measures such as test and trace.
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