Last night (Tuesday 1 December) MPs voted on the new Coronavirus tier system. Under the new restrictions, the government has put South Yorkshire into Tier 3, the highest level, from today (Wednesday 2 December).
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said:
“As we exit the national lockdown, the Government has once again made the decision that from today South Yorkshire will be in the highest level of Coronavirus restrictions, Tier 3. We need them to work with us to make sure we do not stay there a moment longer than necessary, to ensure our businesses and people get the support they need to get through the pandemic, and to fix the failing Test-and-Trace system.
“Lockdown must not become limbo. I’ve pushed the Government to agree to review our tier arrangements every two weeks, and will continue to press them to collaborate on the clear exit strategy we need to get us out of Tier 3 as quickly as possible – because every extra day we are under restrictions could be the difference between a business surviving the pandemic or going under.
“The news today that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved in the UK is encouraging, but we mustn’t take our eye off the ball. This vaccine will initially be used to protect health and care staff, the over 80s and care home residents. Until we have widespread vaccination, the threat of COVID is still very real. It would be all the more tragic for people to unnecessarily expose themselves to risk when there is finally genuine hope that we are nearing the end of the pandemic.
“Lockdown has had the effect it was expected to. In South Yorkshire the rate of new infections, and more importantly the number of older people in hospital with the virus, is moving in the right direction. But while we’ve seen real and welcome progress over the last few weeks, there is no room for complacency. We must all continue to follow the guidelines and do our bit to save lives and ease the pressures on our NHS.”