Sheffield priest brands government 'criminally negligent' in viral tweet as he calls for whole of England to be placed in Tier 3 lockdown

A Sheffield priest has expressed his opinion that the whole country should have been put into Tier 3 lockdown as coronavirus infections and deaths continue to climb.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 10:25 am

Father Ian Maher, who is a minor canon at Sheffield Cathedral, spoke out on Twitter, writing: “The whole of England should be in Tier 3 at the very least. Criminally negligent of the government to continue like this.

His comments came following the news that the Covid-19 infection rate was doubling every nine days.

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The tweet has been liked more than 1,600 times, with 304 retweets and 76 replies.

It drew a mix of responses, with many people questioning whether the tier system as a whole was working.

One respondent wrote: “In the areas where there are high infection rates the horse has already bolted. Everywhere will get high rates if we don’t institute a national lockdown as a matter of urgency.”

The whole country should be in Tier 3 lockdown, says Sheffield priest Father Ian Maher

Another said: "But tier 3 does nothing, really. I can still work with 250+ ppl, travel on public transport, shop, if, I choose to at a shopping centre, kids can go to school.

"What I can’t do is see family & friends. It’s utterly pointless It’s not even a halfway arrangement.”

A third person asked: “What’s the point of locking down ‘the whole of England’ if the virus is only strong in certain places?

“What’s the point in locking down Lyme Regis because the virus is high in Nottingham?

“It should be ‘very tough’ and ‘very local’ lockdowns.”

And a fourth said the the current system was akin to having a ‘peeing section in a swimming pool’.

Father Maher added: “My comment was simply reflecting the fact that the Government is messing around with local lockdowns rather than giving a clear, across the board message. I think a national lockdown delay is simply down to the fact that Starmer argued for it.”

He continued: “Every evening I say a prayer for all those who have died in the past 24 hours of Covid-19 and for those who mourn their loss. I don’t want to become immune to feeling anything when the daily totals are announced. What is happening in the UK is appalling and far from over.”