Covid Tier 3: Here are the areas that could face tougher restrictions

  • ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman on the negotiations with South Yorkshire

Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham and will follow Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire by moving into the Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

South Yorkshire council leaders reached an agreement with central government which will see the region enter the very high tier of restrictions from midnight on Saturday.

It comes after Greater Manchester was forced by government to enter the highest tier after a failure to reach an agreement over pay for low wage earners. From midnight on Friday, the pubs, bars and hospitality venues in the region will have to close.

The most recent data shows infection rates in big cities are falling, including in Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, but still remain high.

However Nottingham and parts of the North East could soon enter Tier 3 as infection rates remain high.

Areas recording big jumps in their seven-day rates to October 15 include Blackburn with Darwen (up from 382.1 per 100,000 to 513.7, per 100,000 with 769 new cases); Rossendale (up from 316.2 to 472.8, with 338 new cases); and Charnwood (up from 172.2 to 288.9, with 537 new cases).

Covid tiers: - What are the differences between each alert level?

  • Medium (Tier 1) - Rule of six applies indoors and outdoors. Pubs and restaurants close at 10pm.

  • High (Tier 2) - Households must not mix indoors in any setting including pubs and restaurants. Rule of six applies outdoors

  • Very high (Tier 3) - Households must not mix indoors, or in private gardens. Rule of six applies in outdoor spaces including parks. Pubs and bars which don't serve meals will be closed

Figures for the seven days to October 15 show:

  • Nottingham had 711.3 cases per 100,000 people. This is down from 1001.2 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to October 8

  • Sheffield has 393.4 cases per 100,000, down from 496.0 the previous week to October 8

  • Liverpool’s rate of infection dropped to 606.6 per 100,000, down from 684.7 per 100,000 the previous week

  • Manchester has 424.7 per 100,000, down from 511.5 per 100,000 cases

  • Newcastle upon Tyne had 348.4 per 100,000, down from 545.5 per 100,000 cases

  • Gateshead’s cases had fallen to 236.6 per 100,000, down from 274.7 per 100,000

Council leaders have urged the government to listen to their concerns before moving them into Tier 3, which would see the most stringent restrictions implemented.

Tier 3 restrictions, which are currently in place in Liverpool City Region and Lancashire, ban people from meeting indoors, in any hospitality venue or private garden and all pubs and restaurants are required to close.

In Liverpool, gyms and leisure centres and closed while in Lancashire they are not.

  • ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster on the situation in Nottingham

In a statement, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis said: “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."

Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said even taking into account the large number of students who have tested positive for coronavirus, “the underlying numbers are coming under control in the North East”.

He said: “Matt Hancock and his colleagues need to stop dictating to us and start listening to our strategy, and to concede that they need to work with us, not against us.”

Although infection rates in Nottingham are falling, city council leader David Mellen said he expects to discuss whether or not his region should be moved into the higher tier.

Shoppers walk through Nottingham city centre. Credit: PA

He said: “I will make it clear that we want a package that properly protects local people, businesses, jobs and education, whether it’s for Tier 2 or Tier 3, and will need to speak to the Government first about the details of this.”

He added: “We have only just been placed in Tier 2 and infection rates are coming down. I want to thank everyone for their ongoing efforts to follow the rules, stop the spread of the virus and help save lives and livelihoods.”

Sheffield's city leaders are meeting with the government to discuss the imposition of Tier 3 measures. Credit: PA

However, the latest support package announced by the Chancellor would only see workers paid 67% of their total earnings.