With cases rising in Sheffield Hallam and across South Yorkshire, further restrictions are necessary if we are going to stop the spread of this virus and protect our NHS. But, to be successful, they must be accompanied by a comprehensive package of support for the thousands of my constituents who are worried about what this will mean for them.
I share the concerns of Julie Dore, the leader of Sheffield City Council, and Dan Jarvis, the Sheffield City Region Mayor, who have both said the standard Tier 3 package of support falls well short of what’s needed. It will not allow Sheffield City Council to provide the level of support that will be desperately needed under these new restrictions (which are outlined below).
Further restrictions will only be successful in controlling the virus if proper funding is provided. Without this extra support many of my constituents will be forced to continue to go to work, or face falling behind on rent or bills.
In April, the Chancellor said that no person or region would be left behind, but he seems to have forgotten that now. We urgently need a robust national approach which provides sufficient support to all areas facing additional restrictions. The current system of local deals and negotiations isn’t working.
I will continue to push the Chancellor to get on top of this crisis by extending the coronavirus job retention scheme and plugging the existing holes in the system, so that no one in Sheffield, or across the country, falls through the cracks.
What do the new Tier 3 restrictions mean?
- People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
- People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
- All pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals
- People should try to avoid travelling outside the Very High alert level or entering a Very High alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey
- Residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the Very High alert area
In addition, the following restrictions will also apply in South Yorkshire:
- Additional closures will include: Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres.
Gym classes will not be allowed and social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households (but gyms will remain open).
If you have any further questions, Sheffield City Council have a line you can call here, or don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office.