New Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions in place from today

From today, South Yorkshire has moved to the highest level of government restrictions in an attempt to stem the increase in the number of people falling ill.

The key things to know are:

  • You should not now visit anyone else’s home or garden, unless you’re working there or part of their support bubble.
  • You can continue to see people in public open spaces, such as parks, but only in groups no bigger than six and whilst keeping your social distance. You cannot meet people in private outdoor spaces such as pub gardens.
  • Pubs will only be able to open if they serve meals, and alcohol will only be sold in pubs to people who are eating.
  • Some other businesses such as bookies, soft play centres and amusement arcades, are required to close.
  • You are advised to reduce your travel, and anyone who can work from home should do so.

The purpose of the measures is to reduce the physical contact we all have with each other – the only sure way to prevent coronavirus from spreading.

Businesses that are required to close will receive funding under the government’s national scheme, and their staff are entitled to wage support under another national scheme. South Yorkshire councils are negotiating with government over a £30 million pot intended to support other affected businesses. More details about this will be published as soon as possible.

Information presented to councillors this week showed how the number of local people testing positive has increased dramatically

Earlier this week, Cllr Chris Read gave his response to the measures, and the “tawdry” way in which the government had reached this position. You can read his statement here and a longer article written for the Yorkshire Post here.

A summary of the local rules – click the image for a larger version

You can find answers to common questions about the new rules on the council’s website by clicking here, and the full guidance on the gov.uk website by clicking here.

We all want these new restrictions to come to an end as soon as possible, but in order to do that we need to bring down infection rates. If we don’t, that will not only hurt the local economy, but also mean that we will sadly lose more members of our community. Please do continue to do the basics as well; wash your hands often, wear a face covering when you’re with other people, and keep your distance to 2m as much as possible. Clearly if you do develop any symptoms at all, you must get tested as soon as possible.

In between times, your councillors are doing all we can to support people and businesses who are affected during this tough next stage. As a first step yesterday, we confirmed that we are amongst the councils who will fund food for children entitled to free school meals over this half term week – after the Tories in Westminster turned down the campaign led by footballer Marcus Rashford.

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