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  1. South Yorkshire tier 3 restrictions: What we know now

    High alert sign

    With South Yorkshire set to move into tier three - very high alert - coronavirus restrictions at the weekend, this is what we know now:

  2. Analysis: South Yorkshire looks ahead to new restrictions

    James Vincent

    Political Editor, BBC Look North

    We all knew it was coming, but I was still surprised when the announcement leapt into my inbox at 09:02 this morning.

    Shoppers in Sheffield

    Over a million people in South Yorkshire are to go into tier three of the coronavirus alert system on Saturday. It was at that point the phone started ringing. It hasn’t stopped yet...

    Agreed - or imposed? It depends on who you talk to. It has been signed off by South Yorkshire, but it doesn’t mean all the leaders here are happy about how it happened.

    Chris Read, the Rotherham Council leader, is more angry than I’ve ever seen him. He says it wasn’t a negotiation at all - just the government telling South Yorkshire what it was prepared to offer. His point is: if that was the case why not do it a week earlier?

    A sign in Sheffield

    Miriam Cates, the Conservative Penistone and Stocksbridge MP, says it’s a fair deal and heaped praise on Labour Mayor Dan Jarvis. It was similar to the way the government gave the Liverpool City Region mayor plaudits for agreeing a deal there.

    We’re all digesting how it will affect us day-to-day. There will be people trying to work out how to run their businesses, provide childcare and take care of their mental health.

    Whichever way you see it - agreed or imposed - we’re there now. A review is coming in 28 days but there is no magic number for when an area goes in or out of tier three.

    People in South Yorkshire will be asked to bear the toughest restrictions, without knowing when they’ll end.

  3. County offered 'take it or leave it' deal over tier 3 - MP

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    South Yorkshire got a “take it or leave it” standard financial package from the government as the region was told it faced strict tier three coronavirus restrictions, a Sheffield MP has said.

    Clive Betts

    Sheffield South East Labout MP Clive Betts says he challenged Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons before this morning's announcement that South Yorkshire was entering the “very high” tier level of restrictions on Saturday.

    The government will give a £41m funding package to the region – £30m to support businesses and £11m for local authorities to support public health measures such as test and trace.

    But Mr Betts said Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four council leaders had asked for more.

    “I challenged the Minister in the Commons because the leaders were given a take it or leave it deal.

    “I said they had been given the standard package, which also had a cap on it, and the Minister didn’t deny that.

    “Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four council leaders got all that they could, but it was not what they asked for.”

    Mr Betts said the leaders had lobbied for more support for businesses and individuals – and he warned the region could face tough restrictions throughout the winter.

  4. How does an area leave tier three restrictions?

    Reality Check

    People in South Yorkshire face the reality of living in an area where tier three coronavirus restrictions are in force from Saturday.

    When asked about how an area can leave tier three restrictions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "The simplest and most effective way for areas to get out of those restrictions is, of course, to get the R [number] down to one or below.”

    That's the reproduction number, the rate at which the virus is spreading.

    The PM added that the rates of admission to hospital and other data are also taken into account.

    The government says it will review very high risk areas every four weeks, but has not explained what would be deemed as suitable progress for an area to leave tier three restrictions.

    We asked the Department of Health to explain what data determines whether an area should enter the top tier. It indicated that the reasons include:

    • Number and increase of coronavirus cases
    • The positivity rate (or the percentage of tests that come back positive)
    • Pressures on the NHS
    • Which age groups are being infected

    It's likely some of these factors will influence when and how quickly an area leaves tier three as well.

    Some areas, which have previously gone into local lockdowns, have already seen them loosened once progress was made, including Luton, Leicester and Oadby and Wigston.

    Read more about why some areas are facing tougher restrictions than others here.

  5. Businesses 'starting again' with new tier 3 restrictions

    Businesses in South Yorkshire face "starting again" when it comes to getting customers through their doors now the region is to be given stricter coronavirus restrictions, one business owner has said.

    Playmania Sheffield

    From Saturday, pubs and bars in South Yorkshire must close, unless they serve substantial meals. Betting shops, casinos and soft play areas are also set to shut.

    Rebecca Flynn (pictured), who runs children's venue Playmania in Sheffield, says it's been tough paying staff while the business has been closed.

    Rebecca Flynn

    She told the BBC: "We've worked really hard to keep our bank of staff on, as many people as possible through furlough and keep giving everyone a little bit to keep their households ticking over.

    "Now we're really going to struggle to keep those staff on board. We've obviously worked really hard to get customers back in and getting the safety procedures right so customers have confidence in us.

    "But we're going to have to start again with that."

  6. More than 12,000 cases in South Yorkshire - Health Minister

    There have been more than 12,000 positive coronavirus cases in South Yorkshire so far in October, according to the government.

    Edward Argar

    The region has been moved into tier three of the coronavirus alert system, meaning from Saturday mixing of households is banned in a bid to curb infection rates.

    Health Minister Edward Argar told MPs there have been more than 12,000 cases in South Yorkshire so far in October - more than in July, August and September combined.

    That's while the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care has reached more than half that seen at the height of the pandemic, he added.

    Mr Argar said he was aware the measures would "entail further sacrifice", but "bearing down hard" would help to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis said it was the "responsible route" and that "inaction was not an option" after hospital admissions doubled in 10 days.

    He said a "local lockdown lifeline" from the government meant "we are better equipped to control the virus and limit some of the damage on jobs and businesses".

    "If restrictions are effective, individual local authorities will be able to move to lower alert levels as soon as it is safe to do so, in consultation with fellow local leaders, myself and national government," he added.

  7. Hospitality 'thrown under the bus' - Sheffield pub owner

    The owner of a Sheffield pub says he feels like the hospitality industry has been "thrown under the bus" after South Yorkshire was told it was being moved into tier three of the coronavirus alert system.

    James Hawksworth

    From Saturday, pubs and restaurants which don't serve substantial meals will be forced to close in South Yorkshire.

    Jamie Hawksworth, who owns the Sheffield Tap, said: "I think we saw it coming. The media was already highlighting this was going to come into effect.

    "I think I speak for most of my staff and certainly the management team that it's devastating. It's a livelihood. It's a way of life. We've had the entire business pulled from under us."

    The Sheffield Tap

    He added that the knock-on effect will mean local breweries, abattoirs and other suppliers will now go without orders.

    Mr Hawksworth said: "Hospitality only accounts for 3% of the Covid risk at the moment. We pay the most to the government and receive the least. We're basically being thrown under the bus, we're the scapegoat."

    A £41m funding package to help people and businesses affected by the restrictions in South Yorkshire has been agreed, according to Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis.

  8. Financial support 'imperative' for Doncaster businesses

    Businesses in South Yorkshire need financial support "as quickly as possible" following the news that tier three coronavirus restrictions will be in place in the county from Saturday, Doncaster's Chamber of Commerce has said.

    Man and 2m sign

    Under the stricter rules, pubs and bars in South Yorkshire which don't serve "substantial" meals will have to close.

    Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will also close - though gyms will remain open, though gym classes won't be allowed.

    Doncaster Chamber of Commerce chief operating officer, Andy Hibbitt, said: “It is absolutely imperative packages of financial support are distributed to businesses affected as quickly as possible.

    “Businesses need clear guidance, clarity, transparency and a timeline to work towards as they make further sacrifices while we navigate through Covid-19.

    "With a rollercoaster of stop-start restrictions, this support needs to be accessible at an accelerated pace, while we work together as a region to protect lives and get out of these restrictions as quickly as possible.”

    A £41m package of support has been agreed between the Sheffield City Region and government, Mayor Dan Jarvis said.

    Meanwhile, Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones added that the tier three announcement would "cause concern" for people in the town.

    “Very high tier three will mean tighter restrictions for the borough and we must all collectively do our bit to get the infection rate down," she added.

  9. 'Doing nothing not an option' - Sheffield council leader

    There is a growing and "extremely concerning" number of seriously ill people in hospital with coronavirus, the leader of Sheffield City Council has said.

    Julie Dore

    Her comments were made after it was announced earlier that South Yorkshire is to be placed under tier three restrictions from Saturday - the highest level of the coronavirus alert system.

    Councillor Julie Dore said "doing nothing is clearly not an option", but she added that financial support needed to brought in to help people and businesses in South Yorkshire.

    "People should be given the same level of support as they were in the national lockdown to help them get through these incredibly challenging times," she said.

    "While government are providing extra funding, they are giving South Yorkshire a standard package of support which they are providing to the areas going into tier three. This will not allow us to provide the support for people that is needed.

    "We will continue to push government to provide enough support for people and businesses as they are now placing us in these measures which will have such serious consequences for the people most impacted.

    “We can and will get through this, but we will only do so by pulling together. The government’s approach at this moment in time will not bring about this togetherness," Councillor Dore added.

  10. What is the coronavirus level alert system?

    With today's announcement that tier three coronavirus restrictions will be in force in South Yorkshire from 00:01 on Saturday morning, what does this mean for the county?

    Tiers graphic

    Areas with the most rapidly rising Covid-19 transmission rates are placed in tier three - which means these restrictions will be introduced at the weekend:

    • You are not allowed to meet socially with anybody who is not part of your household, or support bubble, indoors
    • You cannot meet in private or pub gardens, but can meet in parks, beaches, countryside or forests, as long as you are not in a group of more than six
    • Pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals. Alcohol can only be served as part of a meal
    • People are being advised not to travel into or out of tier three areas, other than for work, education, youth services or because of caring responsibilities.
    • Extra measures for tier three areas can be introduced, following discussions between central and local government.

    The restrictions in South Yorkshire will be reviewed within a maximum of 28 days, according to the government.

  11. 'I understand the sacrifice' - Hancock on new restrictions

    People in South Yorkshire are making sacrifices to the way they live, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, as the region prepares for the imposition of tier three coronavirus restrictions at the weekend.

    Matt Hancock

    This morning, Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis announced South Yorkshire would be subject to the stricter rules from 00:01 on Saturday.

    Under the new rules, households in South Yorkshire will be banned from mixing; pubs and bars will be closed unless they serve substantial meals; and venues like betting shops and soft play centres will also be forced to close.

    A graphic showing infection rate increases

    Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "A failure to act now would only lead to tougher and longer lasting restrictions later.

    "I understand the sacrifice people in South Yorkshire have already made and the enormous impact further measures will have on people's lives.

    "That is why we are also providing support to businesses and contact tracing activity across South Yorkshire."

    A £41m package of support has been agreed between Mr Jarvis and the government.

  12. Analysis: South Yorkshire tier 3 restrictions announced

    James Vincent

    Political Editor, BBC Look North

    The imposition of tier three - very high alert - coronavirus restrictions on South Yorkshire has seemed inevitable - but it has taken a while.

    Covid-19 sign in Sheffield

    While the focus was across the Pennines on Manchester’s negotiations with government, South Yorkshire was doing its own deal.

    A £41m funding package to help businesses and test-and-trace is a similar amount given to a similar-sized city region - Liverpool.

    But was it a deal at all? The leader of Rotherham Council Chris Read has described the government’s approach as "tawdry".

    He says the government had a funding template and that there have been no meaningful negotiations at all.

  13. Pubs and breweries must not be 'sacrificial lambs' - Camra

    Pubs and breweries across South Yorkshire will be "absolutely devastated" by new rules being brought in to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

    A pint of real ale

    From Saturday, pubs and bars which don't serve "substantial" meals will be forced to close after the government placed South Yorkshire in tier three - the highest level coronavirus alert.

    A £41m funding package to help people and businesses affected by the restrictions in South Yorkshire has been agreed, according to Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis.

    Camra said the new restrictions would be "devastating" for businesses in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

    The organisation's chief executive, Tom Stainer, said: “Publicans have done everything to make their premises Covid-secure, and have been operating at reduced trade for months while trying to recover from both the first lockdown and months of reduced consumer confidence as a result of restrictions like the curfew.

    “If pubs across South Yorkshire are to avoid becoming a sacrificial lamb then they need a decent, long-term financial support package.

    "This must properly compensate pubs for having to either close altogether - or stay open with extremely low footfall while they serve food.

    “It also needs to help pubs pay wages before the new jobs support scheme kicks in, as well as providing help in the weeks and months after restrictions are lifted if pubs and breweries are to have any chance of getting back on their feet and avoiding having to close their doors for good before Christmas.”

  14. Funding plan agreed to help South Yorkshire - Mayor

    A £41m funding package to help people and businesses affected by the tier three coronavirus restrictions in South Yorkshire has been agreed, the region's mayor has said.

    Sheffield city centre

    The tier 3 - very high alert - restrictions which will come into force at 00:01 on Saturday are:

    • Pubs and bars not serving substantial meals have to close
    • Household mixing is banned both indoors and outdoors in private houses or gardens
    • There is guidance against travelling in or out of the area
    • Gyms are to remain open, but gym classes will not be allowed
    • Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will also close.

    Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis said the £41m support package for the area includes £30m for businesses, with £11m being given to local authorities to help with measures such as test-and-trace.

  15. Tier 3: What are new rules for people in South Yorkshire?

    South Yorkshire has been moved into the highest tier of the coronavirus alert level - tier three - with restrictions coming into force at 00:01 on Saturday

    This means people living on South Yorkshire will not be allowed to meet socially with anybody who is not part of your household, or support bubble, indoors.

    People cannot meet in private or pub gardens, but can meet in parks, beaches, countryside or forests, as long as they are not in a group of more than six.

    Pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals. Alcohol can only be served as part of a meal.

    People are being advised not to travel into or out of tier three areas, other than for work, education, youth services or because of caring responsibilities.

    Extra measures for tier three areas can be introduced, following discussions between central and local government.

    The restrictions will be reviewed again within a maximum of 28 days, it's been confirmed.

    Tiers explainer graphic