Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said:
“The situation across the country and especially in Northern towns and cities has clearly deteriorated in the past week, with the number of new cases at times reaching more than 3,000 a day. Each of our South Yorkshire local authorities has seen their infection rate at least double in that period.
“There is a very real risk that we could see a sustained rise in infections which would put at risk the gains we’ve made. We all urgently need to work together to slow down the virus and ensure we do not see further local lockdown restrictions.
“While I welcome the Government’s announcement to ban the gathering of six or more people from Monday, I question the logic in delaying the implementation of this. We should err on the side of caution and implement these changes as soon as practicably possible.
“People in South Yorkshire need clarity and consistency from the Government. The guidance on what the public needs to do should be as simple as possible so it is easy for people to follow. The Prime Minister should reinstate the daily briefings so he and other ministers and officials can speak directly to the public and update them on the latest situation and what is being done to tackle it. This, along with regular updates to Parliament, will provide opportunities for constructive scrutiny of the management of the crisis.
“Meanwhile, I’m reminding everyone to wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings when outside and socially distance from others. Only by working together and protecting each other can we beat this virus.”