Covid: South Yorkshire tier 3 announcement expected

Covid: South Yorkshire tier 3 announcement expected

An announcement on whether South Yorkshire will face the toughest Covid rules is expected on Wednesday morning, the communities secretary has said.

Robert Jenrick said ministers have had “detailed conversations” with local leaders about moving into tier three.

He said he expected an announcement to be made by the Labour mayor for the Sheffield City Region “very shortly”.

It comes as Greater Manchester is to move into tier three against the wishes of local leaders.

The government has offered a £60m package to support businesses and employees there – but local leaders want at least £65m.

Asked on BBC Breakfast what support South Yorkshire has been offered, Mr Jenrick said the package would “be proportionate to what we’ve done in other parts of the country”.

“I think we’ve got to be fair between different areas that are all going through similar challenges,” he said.

Mr Jenrick declined to say when the restrictions would come in.

The announcement will be made by Labour Mayor Dan Jarvis as a representative of local leaders, he added.

Under tier three, England’s “very high” level of alert, pubs and bars which do not serve substantial meals have to close, and there are further restrictions on households mixing.

The government’s three-tier strategy of regional measures is designed to avoid a national lockdown.

Greater Manchester is the first region to be forced into tier three against the wishes of local leaders. Those measures start on Friday.

Liverpool City Region and Lancashire are the only other areas currently under the tightest restrictions.

Other areas in tier two but known to be in discussions about tighter restrictions are West Yorkshire, the North East, Teesside and Nottinghamshire.

However, David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that no “serious conversations” have been scheduled with ministers or senior civil servants.

“We will obviously engage with conversations about tier three and the economic deal that comes with that as and when the government comes to us,” he said.

He added that the council did not receive a letter it had been expecting outlining more details on Tuesday night and that any deal must be “just as good as other areas have received”.

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