As part of the easing of the coronavirus lockdown face coverings have become compulsory to wear on buses, trams and trains with transport bosses reporting the vast majority are respecting the new rules. Bus services in Sheffield have had to adapt to additional Covid-19 guidelines to maintain social distance rules and to maintain enhanced cleaning regimes. Sheffield Live! reporter Azz Mohammed spoke to Nigel Eggleton, managing director for First South Yorkshire and the Midlands.
Sheffield United will be kicking off the return of the football season with an away match against Aston Villa to be shown on TV but without fans in the stadium. The Football Association has decided to recommence games rather than end the season early but stadium doors will remain closed for the time being. Sheffield Live! reporter Azz Mohammed spoke to sports journalist and broadcast presenter Alan Biggs.
Sheffield Council contractors Amey will restart their road resurfacing programme postponed since the lockdown in March. The restart will commence cautiously and the public are being asked not to engage with Amey staff but rather to contact the Streets Ahead programme by phone, email or social media to raise any concerns. Sheffield Live! reporter Azz Mohammed spoke to Darren Butt, account director for Amey.
Schools have been given the green light to reopen widely from 15 June by the Director of Public Health for Sheffield. Speaking to Sheffield Live! Greg Fell said the change in advice was supported by reduction in circulation of the coronavirus, progress with test and trace measures and clarity over management of outbreaks. He warned however that further outbreaks can still be expected to occur. Azz Mohammed reports.
While mental health services have experienced a rise in demand according to Mind Sheffield, for some the slowdown of life has had positive benefits. Karen Beetham, who has been accessing mental health support for six years told Sheffield Live she has noticed an improvement to her mindset as she has had the opportunity to adjust her routine: “If people are going to take anything from this awful situation, then keep yourself slowed down; still work when you’ve got to work, still do leisure, but just do it at a slower pace”. Jack Simmons, a community support worker at Mind Sheffield, said that although they have seen a rise in people needing support, there may be benefits to some in a simpler way of life: “Because every case is individual, we’ve seen people who have had amazing resilience, and some others who have found it really overwhelming.” Beth Gavaghan reports.
Yorkshire’s universities are calling for enhanced government support to recognise their contribution to the Covid-19 response and to address the financial pressures caused by the pandemic. The Yorkshire Universities group are asking the government to back the sector with a programme of financial support in the face of a £2 billion national shortfall in revenues. Sheffield Live! reporter Azz Mohammed spoke to Dr Peter O’Brien, executive director for Yorkshire Universities.
Sheffield Council has said that schools can begin a wider reopening from 15 June but the National Education Union have opposed the move. Sheffield joint branch secretary Duncan Blackie told Sheffield Live! the union’s five tests for re-opening have not been met with no effective test and trace system in place. Azz Mohammed reports for Sheffield Live!
Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, is concerned that schools reopening and an early return to work could lead to a second wave of Covid-19 infections and deaths. Speaking to Sheffield Live! Blomfield said the government was taking too long to put in place a viable test, track and isolate strategy to contain further spread of the coronavirus. Azz Mohammed reports.
Sheffield’s International Documentary Film Festival, Doc/Fest, which normally brings thousands of visitors to Sheffield from all parts of the world, is to be run as a series of online events this year. Festival Director, Cintia Gil, told Sheffield Live! the event is expected to lose a third of its budget due to the coronavirus pandemic and will have a different feel without physical screenings. It is hoped to follow with a series of weekend screenings in the autumn as Sheffield cinemas reopen. Azz Mohammed reports.
Sheffield Tigers Speedway club is hoping to be back on track in the autumn when they are also due to return to the top flight of the British speedway championships for the first time in over 20 years. Sheffield Live! reporter Jeremiah Malikebu spoke to Peter Mole, co-owner of Sheffield Tigers Speedway.