What 'three-tier' local lockdown could look like in Sheffield
A new three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions is set to be outlined by Boris Johnson on Monday as stringent measures are expected to cause pubs and restaurants to shut across the north of England.
The Prime Minister is due to reveal the full details of the much-anticipated approach in a statement to the House of Commons.
The news comes after the Prime Minister’s chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister wrote to northern MPs yesterday to warn them it was ‘very likely’ the region would be hit with tougher rules.
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The Government moved to pave the way for tough new restrictions by saying workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses which are forced to close will have two thirds of their wages paid by Whitehall in a financial scheme announced by the Chancellor earlier yesterday.
In the letter to northern MPs, Sir Edward stated that “The rising incidence in parts of the country mean that it is very likely that certain local areas will face further restrictions.”
The moves came as a further 13,864 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported yesterday, and 87 more deaths were confirmed of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
Nottingham has the highest rate in England, with 760.6 cases per 100,000 people – a huge jump from 158.3 per 100,000 in the seven days to September 29.
Knowsley has the second highest rate, which has leapt from 391.1 to 657.6 per 100,000, while Liverpool is in third place, where the rate has also increased sharply, from 419.0 to 599.9.
The three-tier traffic light system implies that there would be three alert levels – with level three being the most serious.
The three levels would also be branded by the traffic light colours, with red being alert level three.
Green alert (level one) - These are restrictions that have already been implemented by government.
The 'Rule of six' in public and indoors, face masks mandatory in shops, pubs, restaurants and and on transport, plus a 10pm curfew for hospitality establishments, and only 15 people at weddings, 30 at funerals.
Amber alert (level two) – This level has already been implemented in local lockdown areas, such as the North East, and would mean no social contact indoors, including homes or hospitality establishments, or in private gardens with people outside of your bubbles. Only essential journeys are allowed.
Red alert (level three) – This would be the next step implemented by government should cases and the infection rate continue to sky-rocket.
There would be a ban on social contact with anyone not in your household. Pubs, restaurants and leisure businesses would be asked to close once again, and some sports, such as bowling, would also be banned.
What does it mean for Sheffield?
The infection rate in the city is continuing to rise, with the latest weekly infection rate now over 300 per 100,000 people.
Sheffield’s director of public health, Greg Fell said until the announcement for Sheffield is made, residents need to do all they can to try top halt the spread of coronavirus.
“My advice to residents is to keep playing your part to combat this dangerous virus which is very much in circulation in our communities. I cannot express this clearly enough; if you have symptoms do not leave home unless it is to get a test, this does not mean that you can go to the shops or the local pub, or visit family and friends: you must isolate,” he said.
“Continue to maintain distance from people outside your household, wear your face covering where required and wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser gel.
“Be prepared: we advise people to have medicines and food in case you are contacted by the NHS test and trace system.”
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader at Sheffield City Council, said: “We want to make it clear that we understand that no-one wants to see further restrictions placed on the way we live our lives in Sheffield, but we must put the safety of our city and those who live and work in it first. We must do whatever it takes to stem the spread of the virus in our communities. We cannot achieve this unless we all play our part.
“If this means more stringent measures to protect the public then we do it for as long as it takes to stop this dangerous virus from circulating further. However, we do expect the Government to follow through with the appropriate support packages that will be required to mitigate the financial and economic impact of these measures.
“How long these new measures may last and how much further they may need to go on for in the coming weeks and months, will depend on everyone playing their part.
“I want to assure everyone that we are prepared to do what it takes to prevent further spread of the virus in the city. Until that time, we can only advise everyone to be vigilant and to be prepared. It’s as simple as that.”
If Sheffield is named as an area of ‘intervention’, it will mean new rules and guidance which will be specifically geared towards how Covid- 19 is spreading in Sheffield, and new specific measures may be introduced.