South Yorkshire will be plunged into Tier 3 lockdown from 12.01am on Saturday with pubs and bars forced to shut.
Another 1.4million people will be lashed with the harshest restrictions after the news was confirmed today by Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis.
It affects the council areas of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, Mr Jarvis told MPs.
As in all Tier 3 areas, pubs and bars must shut unless they can operate as a restaurant serving “substantial” meals.
Soft play centres, betting shop, casinos and adult gaming centres will also have to close in South Yorkshire on top of usual Tier 3 restrictions.
Gyms and leisure centres will be allowed to stay open in the region, but leisure centre classes will not be allowed to take place.
It makes South Yorkshire the fourth region of England to enter Tier 3 after Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, and Greater Manchester.
As in all Tier 3 areas, people will be banned from meeting anyone not in their household or bubble socially, either indoors or in gardens.
Meetings of up to six people in public open spaces like parks are still allowed.
Residents are being advised against non-essential travel in and out of the region.
And wedding receptions will not be allowed, although ceremonies with up to 15 people are permitted.
Mr Jarvis said £41m had been agreed between the region and central government, hours after talks over a financial package for Greater Manchester broke down.
This is made up of £11m (£8 a head) of a standard package for testing and tracing, plus £30m of business support.
There could also be “further announcements” on support for leisure centres in the area.
Despite fury over Greater Manchester’s arrangements, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis told MPs he believed his deal was “fair”.
However, he said he still had “grave concerns” over the lack of support for workers whose pubs are shut down – who will only get 67% of wages paid by the govenrment.
In a statement he added: “We all recognise the gravity of the situation and have taken the responsible route to ensure we save lives and livelihoods, and protect our NHS.
“More older people are contracting the virus. The number of people with Covid in our hospitals has doubled over the last ten days, with no signs this will relent over the coming weeks. Inaction was not an option.
“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.”
It comes after Greater Manchester was forced into a Tier 3 lockdown against its will, starting Friday, when Downing Street walked out of talks in a spat over just £5million.
A furious row erupted last night when Mr Jenrick abandoned negotiations – refusing to provide disputed funds for the stricken region.
Metro mayor Andy Burnham accused the government of “playing poker with people’s lives” and a “deliberate act of levelling down.”
He revealed he had asked for pot of £90m to help stricken workers and businesses, on top of a standard £22m pot for testing and tracing and local communications.
In negotiations he cut the plea for that second pot to £75m, then £65m – but the government would only offer £60m, which he said was not enough.
And after talks fell through, Boris Johnson last night said the region will for now be given only the £22m that was originally on the table.
Mr Jenrick today insisted the £60m offer was “there” and “it’s got Manchester’s name on it”. But the top Tory said he would offer it to local councils, bypassing Mr Burnham.
It’s thought the most intensive talks about moving into Tier 3 are ongoing with Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire.
But the North East of England looks set to be spared a Tier 3 lockdown for now after cases rates began to fall and leaders told the government to “sod off”.