Around 1.4 million people in South Yorkshire are now under England’s toughest coronavirus restrictions.
From 12.01am on Saturday, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield were covered by Tier 3 restrictions, aimed at cutting the spread of the virus.
Households will be banned from mixing, except in parks and other open spaces, while pubs and bars must close unless they serve “substantial meals”.
It comes after nearly a fortnight of negotiation between local leaders and the UK government, which agreed a £41m support package for the region.
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis said in a letter to residents just hours before the new rules came into force, that he had “moved heaven and earth to secure the maximum amount of resource that we could”.
He added: “After the progress we made over the summer, the return to stricter restrictions is deeply frustrating.
“Many of you will be fearing for your families, your livelihoods, your future.
“Some of you will be wondering if these measures are worth it.
“Those feelings are understandable.
“But we should be under no illusions: these measures are needed.
“The scientific advice is that they can help.
“We still have a difficult path ahead, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“These restrictions will help us reach it sooner, and at a lower cost.”
Coventry, Stoke and Slough have also entered Tier 2 on Saturday.
Warrington will enter Tier 3 next week and discussions are continuing for Nottinghamshire.
On Friday morning, Greater Manchester moved into Tier 3, joining Lancashire and Liverpool City Region. Also, on Friday evening, Wales began a two-week “firebreak” with a return to the “stay at home” message of the initial lockdown in March.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set out a five-tier series of controls which will come into force on 2 November if they are approved next week by the Holyrood Parliament.
Some 224 people died within 28 days of testing positive – a rise on Thursday’s count which was 189.
The Office for National Statistics has estimated there was an average of 35,200 new COVID-19 cases per day in the community in England between 10 and 16 October.
This was up 26% from an estimated 27,900 new cases per day for 2-8 October.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said on Friday that the reproduction number (R value) for the UK had fallen slightly to between 1.2 and 1.4. Last week it was between 1.3 and 1.5.