South Yorkshire will follow Greater Manchester in moving into Tier 3 (very high) restrictions this weekend, the mayor of Sheffield City Region has confirmed.
Under the new restrictions, which will come into force at 12.01am on Saturday, pubs and bars not serving ‘substantial meals' will be required to close and households will be banned from socialising inside or outside.
Mayor Dan Jarvis said: "We all recognise the gravity of the situation and have taken the responsible route to ensure we save lives and livelihoods, and protect our NHS. More older people are contracting the virus. The number of people with Covid in our hospitals has doubled over the last 10 days, with no signs this will relent over the coming weeks. Inaction was not an option.
"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."
Jarvis said local leaders had agreed a funding package of £41m from government, comprising £30m to support business and £11m to support public health measures in the region.
The imposition of the measures could require 939 pubs and 14 wine bars to close, according to data from real estate advisor Altus Group.
Yesterday the prime minister imposed the highest tier of restrictions on Greater Manchester after failing to reach an agreement on a support package with local leaders.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has accused the government of failing to put support in place for the most vulnerable.