The Prime Minister has tonight (4 January) announced that England will enter national lockdown restrictions from 00:01 on Tuesday 5 January.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region responded:
“We’ve seen an alarming increase in cases in recent weeks, initially concentrated in London and the South East, but now rates of infection and hospitalisation are rising extremely quickly in almost every region of the UK. The new variant of the virus is 50% to 70% more infectious and transmissible and we must do all we can to limit its spread.
“It’s devastating for families and businesses to start the New Year with tighter restrictions, but this is the only way we will save lives and prevent our NHS and hospitals from being overwhelmed in the toughest winter we have faced.
“The Prime Minister took too long to take this decision and now needs to urgently set out how the government plans to contain the new variant of the virus until a vaccine can be fully rolled out.
“This plan must come alongside a comprehensive package of financial support for workers and businesses, assistance for schools and students to ensure no young person is further disadvantaged and a long-term recovery plan to level up the economy. Earlier today, I called for Christmas compensation for businesses in South Yorkshire: the support on offer was inadequate under Tier 3 and must now be urgently reviewed by the Treasury under this new lockdown.
“I understand just how weary and frustrated many people will be, but the lockdown in March reduced the spread of the virus, and if we all follow the rules, this one will as well. For the sake of our families, our communities, and our businesses, everyone needs to play their part.”