Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, has given the clearest hint yet that tighter Covid- 19 restrictions could be imposed upon the city in the near future.
In a public statement following talks with 10 Downing Street earlier today, he admitted the region faced an increasingly severe situation but said conversations were a “useful starting point” in getting the right levels of restrictions and support in place.
In the week up to 12 October, Sheffield had 435 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the population. More than four times the national average of 93.
Jarvis added: “We are treading an incredibly fine line to prevent more lives, jobs and businesses being lost, therefore reaching the right agreement is paramount.
“Ministers, local leaders and I have a responsibility to protect the health of our people, ensure we do not overwhelm the NHS this winter, and secure the best deal for South Yorkshire by supporting our economy and public services.”
His comments come amid multiple escalations in local restriction levels. Yesterday, it was announced that London, Essex and York would move into Tier 2, the Government’s ‘high risk’ category whilst Lancashire and Greater Manchester are expected to face Tier 3 restrictions in the coming days.
Sheffield currently sits on Tier 2 of Covid-19 restrictions with indoor meetings between multiple households banned. A move into Tier 3 would likely see stricter curfews with most of the city’s pubs and bars forced to close.
Managing the impact of these closures on local businesses is now thought to be the primary focus of local leaders.
Jarvis concluded his statement saying: “We are clear, alongside fellow Northern leaders, that a local lockdown lifeline is needed. Additional restrictions must go hand in hand with significant additional resources and funding.”
Talks with central government are expected to continue throughout the weekend and into next week.
Image: Rebekah Lowri