Dan Jarvis demands answers from Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis wants clarity from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on support for South Yorkshire when the national lockdown ends.
England will return to a three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions from 2 December, with the areas in each tier to be announced on Thursday. South Yorkshire is expected to remain subject to the tightest controls on daily life and trading for some businesses.
Mr Jarvis said: “The Prime Minister’s statement set out significant easing of restrictions, yet provided no clear criteria for how and why regions will enter different tiers. Unless the Government fix the fundamentals – with a functioning test and trace system, comprehensive economic support, and clear and consistent guidance for the public – they risk squandering the sacrifices people and businesses in South Yorkshire have made so far.”
The PM warned more regions will fall ‘at least temporarily’ into higher tiers than before. Every local authority area in South Yorkshire was under Tier 3 restrictions before the second lockdown began on 5 November, having been placed into the top tier on 24 October.
Mr Jarvis added: “Tougher restrictions have had a massive impact on South Yorkshire’s economy. The Government said it will return to its levelling up agenda after the pandemic, but the brutal reality is we cannot wait that long. At Wednesday’s Spending Review, the Government has a golden opportunity to deliver on its promises. I’ve pressed Ministers to bring forward major investment for our Renewal Action Plan, to give the North the best chance of weathering the storm, ensure businesses survive a tough winter and allow us to kick start the job of economic recovery and renewal.”
Pubs, bars and restaurants must remain closed in Tier 3 areas from 2 December but gyms will be allowed to reopen and a ban on outdoor grassroots sport will be lifted. Sports fans will not be allowed into stadiums, however.
In Tiers 1 and 2, where the hospitality industry can remain open, the curfew on opening times will be extended until 11pm, with last orders at 10pm. Hospitality businesses in Tier 2 can only stay open if they serve substantial meals.