Tomorrow (1 December), MPs will vote on the new Coronavirus tier system. The Government’s new restrictions, assuming they are passed, would mean that South Yorkshire would leave national restrictions and enter Tier 3, the highest level, from Wednesday 2 December.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region  has been calling for the Government to ensure much greater protection of livelihoods as well as lives during this pandemic.

Ahead of the vote, Mayor Dan Jarvis commented: “The move into Tier 3 prolongs the economic pain for South Yorkshire and other parts of the country. Since the beginning of this crisis, I’ve repeatedly made the case that government must provide the necessary support for businesses and people adversely affected by lockdown. With some hospitality and accommodation venues making 40% of their annual profits between October and January, it’s clear that losing out on Christmas trade will be a blow many businesses may not be able to recover from.

“I’m calling on the Government to extend the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) that was initially provided to South Yorkshire upon entering Tier 3; to extend support to all businesses, including the self-employed; and to maintain furlough at its current level for all workers who need it. It also means ensuring that economic support remains in place as we move to Tier 2, when trading will still be difficult or impossible for many businesses.

“Over the past few weeks, working with our Local Authorities, we have been making the £30 million we secured for entering Tier 3 restrictions in October stretch as far as possible. We will continue to make these funds available to help our communities.  But with new tougher, tiered restrictions being brought into South Yorkshire once again, our businesses and communities are being pushed to, and in some cases beyond, breaking point.

“I stand ready to work with the government to develop a better package of support, but we need them to step up to the challenge. We understand the need for restrictions, but it’s then the Government’s responsibility to ensure help is there for those who need it. The light at the end of the tunnel is in sight – it would be a colossal waste not to help our businesses reach it.”