It was announced this morning that the whole of South Yorkshire now falls into the Tier 3 band, which means residents and businesses are subject to harsher restrictions than most other parts of the country.
The region previously fell under Tier 2, which meant households were banned from mixing indoors but groups of six could meet outdoors.
People could also travel to Tier 1 areas.
But under Tier 3 rules, there are more restrictions on travel and, as has happened in other Tier 3 areas, most pubs and bars are expected to close but specifics have not yet been announced.
Local leaders, Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and Government officials reached an agreement for new restrictions and support available for the area after days of detailed talks, which continued until this morning
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick suggested a deal was close earlier today when he told Sky News the Government was ‘on the cusp of an agreement with South Yorkshire’.
Announcing the Tier 3 restrictions, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, said: “Following extensive discussions with ministers, local council leaders and I have agreed with Government that South Yorkshire will move into Tier 3, the ‘very high’ alert level for coronavirus restrictions.
“The restrictions will come into force from 00:01 on Saturday, October 24 and cover all four local authority areas – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
“We all recognise the gravity of the situation and have taken the responsible route to ensure we save lives and livelihoods, and protect our NHS. More older people are contracting the virus.
“The number of people with COVID in our hospitals has doubled over the last ten days, with no signs this will relent over the coming weeks. Inaction was not an option.
“We called on Government to offer a local lockdown lifeline for our local authorities and economy, and the new restrictions will be introduced alongside resources which mean we are better equipped to control the virus and limit some of the damage on jobs and businesses.
“While infection rates vary across South Yorkshire, collective action was the only practical choice to keep everyone in our region safe. If restrictions are effective, individual local authorities will be able to move to lower alert levels as soon as it is safe to do so, in consultation with fellow local leaders, myself and national government.
“However, to reach that point as quickly as possible, it’s critical people in South Yorkshire follow the new restrictions as soon as they are in place. I want to thank everyone in the region for their perseverance.
“The character and grit of people in South Yorkshire will be needed in abundance to help us get through what will be an incredibly challenging period. Our NHS staff have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to keep us all safe. We owe it to them to ease the pressure ahead of the toughest winter our health service will ever face. I know people will step up and do their bit.”