The most severe coronavirus restrictions will cover large areas of South Yorkshire including Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham. The “very high” alert level will affect around 1.4 million people and come into force from midnight on Saturday October 24. South Yorkshire will join Liverpool, Lancashire and Greater Manchester in Tier-three restrictions.
Under the rules pubs and bars will be closed, unless they are serving substantial meals, for a 28-day period, along with betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play areas.
Households are barred from mixing in indoors and in outdoor hospitality settings.
People are also advised not to travel in or outside the area.
A financial package worth £41 million has been agreed between the Government and local authorities to support businesses and additional health measures.
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis said authorities had taken the “responsible route” to save lives and protect the NHS.
Mr Jarvis warned the number of patients hospitalised with coronavirus had doubed in the past 10 days and insisted “inaction was not an option”.
Mr Jarvis acknowledged the infection rate is not spreading at the same rate across the whole of South Yorkshire but insisted a joint approach was the “only practical choice” to suppress the virus and enable the region to quickly move to a lower alert level.
He added: “We called on Government to offer a local lockdown lifeline for our local authorities and economy, and the new restrictions will be introduced alongside resources which mean we are better equipped to control the virus and limit some of the damage on jobs and businesses.
“While infection rates vary across South Yorkshire, collective action was the only practical choice to keep everyone in our region safe.
“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.
“However, to reach that point as quickly as possible, it’s critical people in South Yorkshire follow the new restrictions as soon as they are in place. I want to thank everyone in the region for their perseverance.
“The character and grit of people in South Yorkshire will be needed in abundance to help us get through what will be an incredibly challenging period.
“Our NHS staff have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to keep us all safe. We owe it to them to ease the pressure ahead of the toughest winter our health service will ever face. I know people will step up and do their bit.”
This is a developing news story, more to follow.
On Tuesday Boris Johnson announced Greater Manchester will be placed under Tier-three restrictions from Friday following the breakdown in talks with local leaders.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham accused the Prime Minister of “playing poker” with people’s lives amid a row over financial support for the region once it goes into lockdown.
Mr Burnham said leaders of the authorities in Greater Manchester had attempted to compromise with the Government and demanded £65m in support until the end of the financial year.
The Labour Mayor described the sum as the “bare minimum to prevent a winter of real hardship” – but claimed minister were only willing to offer £60m.
During a press conference Boris Johnson only confirmed £22 million for the region – though Health Secretary Matt Hancock later told the House of Commons the offer of £60m “remains on the table”.
Speaking inside Downing Street, Mr Johnson also said discussions were ongoing with leaders in, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East about the possibility of moving to the very high alert level.
He said: “I hope and expect central and local government will continue to work closely together.
“Ultimately all of us want to protect the NHS and in doing so to save lives.”