Sheffield set to STAY in Tier 3 on first review despite falling Covid infection rate

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis has said that South Yorkshire is likely to remain under Tier 3 restrictions following the review that will take place on December 17.

Friday, 11th December 2020, 3:28 pm

Next Thursday the Government will confirm the tiering restrictions for the Christmas break, taking into account the progress made towards limiting the spread of the virus in each area under current restrictions.

It is the last chance areas will have of moving down a tier before the new year.

Mr Jarvis has said that data shows that it is ‘highly likely’ that South Yorkshire will continue in Tier 3.

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Mayor of the Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis. Picture: Chris Etchells

The Sheffield City Region mayor said: “Four of the five key indicators for areas moving out of Tier 3 are still too high in South Yorkshire. Our NHS services remain under massive pressure.

"Over 600 people are currently in our region’s hospitals with Covid, with more being admitted every single week. It is imperative that we avoid a devastating third wave in January and put more lives put at risk – just at the point that a vaccine is being rolled out. It’s likely, therefore, that the Government will decide to keep South Yorkshire in Tier 3 next week.”

While he said that this is what he expects to happen, Mr Jarvis stressed that the decision was not down to him and did not say whether he agreed with South Yorkshire being in Tier 3.

“I’d reiterate that this decision lies solely with national government,” he said.

"Mayors and Council Leaders are still not being consulted or involved in any meaningful way in the decision-making process. These are decisions taken about us, not with us or by us – which is enormously frustrating and makes a mockery of the Government’s professed commitment to devolution.

“Whatever the Government decide, I’ll continue to work around the clock with our local council leaders, Directors of Public Health and our NHS to ensure that we get out of Tier 3 as quickly and as safely as possible."

Many in Sheffield will be hoping that the area was moved down into Tier 2.

Sheffield’s current infection rate is lower than the national average. It currently stands at 129 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to December 6.

The national average is 131, and in parts of London – where the restrictions are Tier 2 – it is above 200.

However, in Doncaster the rate is the highest in Yorkshire. It currently stands at 207.

Mr Jarvis added: “I know the enormous challenges this will pose for our businesses, which is why we’re providing support for those severely affected by the restrictions through our Additional Restrictions Grant, making every pound go as far as possible to help those who have fallen through the cracks of national schemes.

“There is now light at the end of the tunnel, with a vaccine already being rolled our across the country.

"But until we can ensure enough people have received the vaccine, the threat remains. We must all adhere to the guidance and do our bit to save lives and livelihoods. We are on the home stretch, but we must ensure that we all make it to the finish line.”