Sheffield health boss predicts return to Tier 3 restrictions after lockdown

Tier 3 restrictions could return in Sheffield when the latest lockdown is eased, the city’s most senior public health official has predicted.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 4:40 pm
Sheffield could return to Tier 3 restrictions after lockdown.

Greg Fell, director of public health at Sheffield City Council, admitted that while the city is in an ‘advantageous’ position compared to other parts of the country, infection rates remain “far too high for comfort.”

He said: “I don’t think that come the end of lockdown, whenever that might be, that we will be in a different position to the one we were in going into Christmas, which was basically Tier 3.

"That’s my sense, but I genuinely don’t know.”

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Under Tier 3 restrictions, household mixing would remain banned and pubs, bars and restaurants would have to stay shut.

Gyms and non-essential shops could reopen, however, and outdoor team sports could also resume.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not ruled out a return to the tier system but said a national approach “might be better this time round, given that the disease is behaving much more nationally.”

Mr Fell said he expects the current restrictions to remain in place for another six weeks to two months.

He added: “We are in an advantageous position compared to the rest of the country. It’s only the South West of England that has got comparable rates."

Infection rates in Sheffield are below the national average and the virus’ rate of growth over Christmas was also lower, Mr Fell said.

Asked if domestic holidays are likely to be the norm this year, he replied: “My sense is a lot of people will stay in this country.

"I suspect a lot of countries will be applying quarantine.”