Rotherham to move to Very High Covid Alert Level
It has been announced today that South Yorkshire will move into the “Tier 3 Very High Alert” level in response to the high number of Covid infections in the region.
Rotherham, along with Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield will, from Saturday, have tighter restrictions designed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Liverpool and Lancashire previously have been moved into Tier 3, and Greater Manchester also will move this week.
We would urge people to comply with these new restrictions, to drive down the rates of infection in Rotherham and to protect the NHS.
The new measures will take effect from 00:01 Saturday 24th October.
This means that in addition to national restrictions, the following rules apply in Rotherham from 24th October:
- You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble. This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs.
- You can meet in groups no larger than six in public parks and at beaches, providing you remain socially distanced. However, you must not meet with people outside of your household or support bubble in a private garden.
- Pubs and bars will be closed unless they are serving ‘substantial’ meals. You will only be served alcohol whilst eating.
- Office workers who can work from home should do so.
- It is advised to avoid travel where possible, in or out of the region, except for essential journeys such as school, college and work.
- The following restrictions on premises are also in place in South Yorkshire:
- Soft play centres, betting shops, casinos and amusement arcades are to close.
- leisure centres and gyms can remain open ut classes are not to take place.
As part of the Tier 3 restrictions, businesses which have to close will be entitled to Government grants of up to £3,000 every four weeks, and staff unable to work at those businesses will be able access two thirds of their wages, up to a maximum of £2,100.
Additional Government money will also be made available to local authorities and the detail of the further financial package is being worked on with the Government to support the local economy.
The funding for South Yorkshire includes £30m to support the region’s businesses, and £11m for local authorities to support public health measures such as Test and Trace to stop the spread of the virus.
The Alert Level will be reviewed every 28 days.
Council Leader responds to announcement
The Leader of Rotherham Council, Councillor Chris Read has responded to today’s announcement.
He said: “Over the last few weeks, we have seen alarming increases in the rates of coronavirus infections in Rotherham, as in the rest of South Yorkshire. Our hospital has gone from only a handful of Covid patients to nearly 50 and it is clear that if that rate of increase continues we run the very real risk of seeing local health services overwhelmed.
“Our priority therefore must be the safety of the public of Rotherham and to protect the NHS. Whilst no one will welcome further restrictions, I believe these are proportionate to the risks that we face. I very much hope that with these rules in place, we can pull together and turn around the infection rates. If we can, then we will be able to relax these new rules quickly. If we cannot, then further restrictions cannot be ruled out.
“We need and we welcome the support for businesses and employees who are affected – in so far as it goes. However, I have been extremely frustrated by the way in which the Government has conducted the discussions with local leaders in South Yorkshire. There have been no meaningful negotiations and it has become clear during our conversations that the Government had already had a template of measures and funding in mind. There is nothing in the announcement today that the government could not have decided to introduce days ago.