As the North East goes into local lockdown, here's what it could mean for Sheffield

What could a local lockdown mean for Sheffield?

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 2:17 pm

After confirmation that the North East would see local lockdown restrictions imposed from Friday, September 18, due to a spike in the amount of positive Covid-19 cases, people of Sheffield are wondering what it means should it be implemented in South Yorkshire.

Restrictions have already tightened across the country, with no more than six people from separate households being allowed to socialise.

Now, people of the North East will see even further restrictions implemented, including 10pm hospitality curfews.

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There will be a 10pm curfew for pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants if Sheffield follows the North East into local lockdown.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and late night restrictions on operating hours will be introduced so leisure and entertainment venues must close between 10pm and 5am.”

He also added that people are no longer allowed to socialise with people outside their bubble.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, explained the reason for the hospitality curfews on Sky News.

He said: "One of the challenges has been groups of people meeting up in our towns and city centres very late at night and after a few drinks that means social distancing goes out the window.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that people will no longer be allowed to socialise with people outside their bubble in the North East from tomorrow.

"So we want to ensure that isn't another opportunity for the virus to keep spreading."

But what could it mean for Sheffield?

Sheffield has already been placed on the Government’s watchlist as an ‘area of concern’, and the situation will be monitored closely.

Positive cases of Covid-19 are going up weekly in Sheffield, with 48 confirmed cases per 100,000 people this week, up from 38 the week before.

If this figure keeps rising, it is likely that the city will see local lockdown restrictions implemented as they will be in the North East, meaning people will not be able to socialise with anyone outside of their bubble.

A study by Imperial College London says that there is an 81 per cent chance that Sheffield will become a coronavirus hotspot.

The temporary restrictions will include 10pm hospitality curfews across Sheffield, table service only in bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and residents being told not to socialise with anyone outside of their bubble.

What happens if you break the rules?

The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.

If paid within 14 days the fine will then be lowered to £50.

A second offence will see rule-breakers pay a fine of £200 that will then double for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

Previously people would only face fines for gathering in groups of more than 30 but the fines now apply to the new rule of six, which was brought in by The Government this week on September 14.

To report a breach of Covid-19 guidance, visit the South Yorkshire Police website.