The news that South Yorkshire will be under Tier 3 measures from 2nd December will frustrate many. I know people are worried about the health of their family, their own wellbeing, and the future of their jobs and businesses. Here’s what the new restrictions mean for you –
- you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
- you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
- hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
- accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training
- indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close.
- leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
- there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
- large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
- places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
- organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
- organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s
- you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
- avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
You can find more detailed information about the new restrictions here.
I met recently met with Dr Andrew Lee, a public health expert at the University of Sheffield, to ask him a series of questions about the public health measures and explain the scientific rationale behind them. You can watch the full interview here.
I recognise that these continued restrictions will be difficult for many. I am all too aware that if the government had acted sooner and more decisively to implement public health measures, a working track and trace system, and had taken steps to close the gaps in the support systems for workers and businesses, we would not be in this position.
I have strongly urged the government to provide more support to Sheffield and to implement a working track and trace system so that we can get down the infection rate, lift the strain from our NHS, and leave Tier 3 as soon as it is safely possible. I’ll continue to lobby hard for more resources to protect both lives and livelihoods in Sheffield Hallam