Sheffield Council leader urges people not to have lockdown gatherings amid reports of house parties

The leader of Sheffield Council has urged people not to break lockdown rules by gathering with their relatives indoors.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 8:16 am

Coun Julie Dore says lockdown is a “crude” way to stop people interacting but ultimately stopping the spread of Covid comes down to individuals’ behaviour.

“Neighbours have called the police and they have found people with 15 relatives round at their house.”

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Sheffield Council leader, Julie Dore

At the start of November, 70 fines had been handed out by South Yorkshire Police for Tier 3 and lockdown breaches.

People were fined for ‘failing to self-isolate, failing to quarantine and refusing to wear a face mask in retail premises and participating in gatherings’.

Over the Halloween weekend, nine £10,000 fines were issued as a result of illegal parties.

The maximum fixed penalties were issued following events at properties on Endcliffe Crescent, Club Garden Road and Stalker Lees Road.

Coun Dore fears winter will be a problem as people can’t meet as easily outdoors.

“This virus knows no boundaries, it will go anywhere it can through person to person contact,” she said.

“These are harsh interventions, lockdown is a very crude tool to limit the amount of interaction but we still can’t control individuals’ behaviour.

“There’s evidence from Wales that 80 per cent of people believe the virus is picked up from strangers but it’s household transmissions.

“It’s so important people follow the rules because it’s about saving lives and the NHS is under so much pressure.”

The national lockdown is set to end on December 2, but Sheffield health bosses have said they remain in the dark about what rules will be in place over Christmas and what restrictions the city will be under.

And this evening, health secretary Matt Hancock has said it is “too early to say” whether the national lockdown restrictions will be lifted on December 2, despite positive news on the development of coronavirus vaccines.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.