Doncaster's public health boss warns Tier 3 restrictions 'unlikely' to have impact within 28 days

Doncaster is one of the four South Yorkshire borough's preparing to move into Tier 3 restrictions from one minute past midnight on Saturday 24 October.

More than one million people across South Yorkshire will begin living under the Government's 'very high' coronavirus alert level, facing the toughest restrictions currently imposed in England

Doncaster moves into Tier 3 on Saturday Credit: ITV Calendar

A £41 million support package has been provided, but the move means pubs not serving substantial food will close, households can't mix indoors or in private gardens, and people should not travel in and out of the area.

It comes as the Director of Public Health for Doncaster Council, Dr Rupert Suckling warned the restrictions have not come soon enough to have an immediate impact.

He explained:

I think given the number of cases that we've seen over the last three weeks, I think it's unlikely that the restrictions are going to have a significant impact in the next 28 days. So I think it's highly likely that we will be in this tier for not just one cycle, but two cycles. If we'd have done this earlier, we might have seen a quicker reduction.

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health for Doncaster Council

He added: "My initial sense is that what we need to see is a reduction in cases for people over 65, and that's the best thing we can do to prevent the virus impacting communities and causing mortality and morbidity.

"Our rates have been doubling every 12 days, which is 950 cases over the last week, around 130 people in hospital and eight people in intensive care. 

"If the numbers are going the wrong way I will call for a circuit breaker."

Meanwhile, business owners in Doncaster are fearing the worst. The Railway is one of 115 pubs in Doncaster now forced to close.

The Railway's landlord, Jordan Wallis explained: "End of November and through December, it's our busiest period as any pub will know, any restaurant will know, so if after 28 days they decide that it's going further to 56 days or however long, it's just going to be harder for pubs to bounce back and be in full swing."

  • Watch Michael Billington's report

What Tier 3 restrictions mean:

  • People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.

  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue.

  • All pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals.

  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the Very High alert level or entering a Very High alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey.

  • Residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the Very High alert area.

From Saturday, the following restrictions will also apply in South Yorkshire:

  • Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres will close.

  • Gyms will remain open and organised sport, exercise classes and other activity groups are only permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). Where it is likely that households (or support bubbles) will mix, these activities must not go ahead.

Check your postcode here to see if the restrictions affect you.