In response to the Prime Minister’s announcement that lockdown restrictions are to be further eased from 4 July, Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Last week the Government’s Chief Medical Officers lowered the country’s coronavirus alert level to three, which means the virus is still in general circulation but is not growing exponentially.
“As a result, social distancing guidelines have been changed. A distance of one metre plus is now recommended when two metres is not possible. This paves the way for pubs, restaurants, places of worship, and salons in England to open from 4 July, with necessary precautions in place. Two households are now permitted to meet indoors, and weddings with up to 30 guests will be permitted.
“South Yorkshire has beautiful scenery and fantastic countryside. The news that campsites, hotels and B and Bs will be able to open will allow our tourism industry to begin recovering.
“This is welcome news and means the sacrifices we’ve made over the last 12 weeks are continuing to bring the number of cases down. But COVID remains present, and presents a continuing threat. We must continue to follow the guidelines if we are to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
“The core advice for protecting yourself and others from the virus remains the same. Wash your hands, avoid public transport if you can and walk or cycle instead, if you do use public transport use a face covering, and always remember to observe social distancing. Two metres when possible and one metreif not.”
“In South Yorkshire coronavirus cases continue to move in the right direction but we have to keep working together to stop the spread of the virus. As individuals, we have a responsibility to do all we can to prevent a second wave of cases. But Government also has a responsibility to provide regional leaders and Metro Mayors with the tools we need to continue to curb the spread of the virus.
“There will be localised outbreaks of this virus, and the Government must give regional leaders the resources and powers we need to protect our communities. We need access to up-to-date, quality data, at a regional and local level, so that we can quickly identify any resurgence and if necessary, re-implement lockdown measures to ensure the safety of the public.
“Different areas of the country continue to move along slightly different trajectories, with the R rate differing among the regions. Central Government must listen to local leaders about the challenges in their area and use this insight to inform national policy-making.
“We must not return to the status quo. The inequalities we have seen during the coronavirus are a result of a decade of underinvestment in the North by Government. Regional leaders now need the powers and resources necessary to build back better. Recovery is not enough: we need an economic and social renewal to create a stronger, greener and fairer economy for all.”