Politicians and business leader’s despair as Sheffield is placed in Tier 3

Sheffield MPs and business leaders are disappointed and angry that the city has been placed in Tier 3 – but with tougher restrictions than before.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th November 2020, 2:34 pm

Unlike the previous Tier 3, pubs, restaurants, theatres and other hospitality venues won’t be allowed to open and can only serve takeaways or deliveries.

It’s better news for shops, beauty salons and hairdressers which can now reopen but it will still have a serious impact on the economy.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts slammed the Government. He said: “Essentially hardly anything has changed from the national lockdown apart from shops opening and these are tighter restrictions from the previous Tier 3

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L-R: Heeley MP Louise Haigh, Alexis Krachai and Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East

“It’s going to be devastating for the hospitality industry. Some of these pubs just won’t be able to survive being closed during the most important part of the year.

“If the Government had acted more quickly with a circuit breaker and had an effective test and trace system this would not have happened. These are failures over many months and is Government incompetence.”

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh also criticised the Government for not acting quickly enough.

“It’s really disappointing that South Yorkshire is back into Tier 3, but is a reflection of the numbers of patients in hospitals and infection rates in our communities.

Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe

“The good news of progress for a vaccine means there is light at the end of the tunnel and these tiers will also be reviewed on December 16, so we need to do everything we can to drive infections down and avoid contact with others as much as possible in the meantime.

“There is still so much the Government should be doing – fixing test and trace, increasing statutory sick pay and giving the NHS and social care systems the resources they need.

“Their refusal to take the necessary measures at the right time means South Yorkshire and the country is still suffering.”

Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said although cases and hospitalisations continue to fall across South Yorkshire, there was still a significant number of infections within communities.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts

“I am acutely aware that this situation is causing great heartache for many of us who are unable to see family and friends, and anxiety for businesses and employees who are facing a very difficult winter.

“Nobody wants this to continue any longer than it has to but there remains a very serious risk of our hospitals being overwhelmed.

“We must recognise the importance of protecting the vulnerable in our society and making sure that the NHS is able to cope with the pressures that winter places on it.

“I am pleased that the Government will be providing significant additional financial and public health support for local councils, as well as targeted support for businesses and families.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh

“The progress made in areas like Liverpool gives us hope that with this support and newly available rapid testing we can bring infections down further and potentially move to Tier 2 when the situation is reviewed.

Alexis Krachai, of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and one of the leads on a business recovery plan for the city, urged people to support local companies this Christmas.

“This is unsurprising news considering the way the government is managing this pandemic and that infection rates are still high.

“Across the city we need to stick together, follow the rules and do what we can to support local businesses.

“If you plan to buy presents, shop local. If you want to grab a festive takeaway, pick a local restaurant. Every decision we make whilst we stay at home can help keep a business going.

“We must also keep the pressure up on the Government. The need for a better track and trace system has gone away and we need to see an exit strategy. The Chancellor said yesterday the current situation is unsustainable. He is right.

“Businesses need to see a long-term plan that sees the economy opened up fully as quickly as possible with or without a vaccine.”

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