Leicester is the first area to be locally locked down and to have coronavirus restrictions reimposed following a surge in cases, with schools and non-essential shops to close from Tuesday 30 June.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock announced in the Commons tonight that non-essential retail stores in Leicester must close again, with the measures also applying to the outer areas of the city, such as Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield. Schools will close again from Thursday to give parents the opportunity to arrange childcare, but will remain open to the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.
All but essential travel is advised for residents and the public should stay home as much as they can until measures lift again. This means that pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers in Leicester will not be able to reopen on July 4 in line with the rest of England, as coronavirus cases are ‘three times higher than the next highest city’ said Mr Hancock.
The restrictions are expected to be imposed for two weeks but the government could enforce stricter social distancing rules in the public don’t follow the rules.
City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby met with Health Secretary Matt Hancock and other officials to discuss the latest data and actions needed. Sir Peter said: “These measures are stricter than we anticipated but we understand the need for firm action. I am determined that we will make this work and to minimise the time these additional measures need to be in place in the city.
“We will of course continue to play our part in keeping people in the city safe and healthy.”
The latest figures obtained by the city council show that 3,216 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Leicester since the start of the epidemic. Of these, 944 cases were reported in the last two weeks.
Leicester currently has three mobile testing sites in the city in Evington, Spinney Hill Park and Victoria park, and a more permanent facility on the edge of Leicester at the Birstall park and ride site. An indoor testing centre is due to open tomorrow (30 June) at the Highfields Community Centre, and further testing sites are planned.
Anyone in Leicester who has symptoms, or thinks they have been in contact with someone who has, can book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
People in Leicester are being advised to stay at home if they can, to maintain two metre social distancing, ensure good hand hygiene and to strictly limit their contact with others from outside their own household.
Anyone who thinks they have symptoms should stay at home along with the rest of their household until they have been tested. Anyone who tests positive should stay at home for seven days, and members of their household should stay at home for 14 days.
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