South Yorkshire is set to move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 from midnight on Friday, in a move that will see Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield join Greater Manchester on the highest alert level.
The new restrictions will see the closure of pubs, restaurants, casinos and soft play centres, with the government pledging £30m in business support for the Northern region and £11m for track and trace.
The new rules will also mean a ban on household mixing in all indoor and outdoor settings, including private homes, hospitality venues and gardens.
Gyms will be exempt from the closures, while pubs that serve “substantial meals” will be allowed to remain open.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make a statement on the decision later today, which will see fresh restrictions imposed on more than 1.8m people.
“The decision has not been taken lightly,” said Dan Jarvis, mayor for the Sheffield City Region.
“The four council leaders and I all share the view that without action our population and health services right across South Yorkshire are at risk and that our collective response must find a balance between the health and economic challenges in front of us”.
It comes as Greater Manchester is set to enter Tier 3 restrictions despite major pushback from local leaders.
Talks between the PM and Manchester mayor Andy Burnham yesterday failed to produce a compromise, with the government refusing to budge on Burnham’s demands for a £65m support package for the city.
Manchester now faces “a winter of real hardship”, Burnham said last night, as the city seeks to negotiate a higher support package for businesses forced to close under Tier 3 than the £22m offered after last-ditch discussions broke down.