Local lockdown measures are to be implemented in Leicester and surrounding areas, the Health Secretary has announced.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday evening, Matt Hancock said that all non-essential retail in the area should close on Tuesday and schools will have to close to pupils from Thursday, except for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
He added, “We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.”
Mr Hancock also said that the easing of lockdown restrictions planned across the country from 4 July, such as the reopening of restaurants, hotels and hairdressers, will not be able to take place in Leicester. The changes to shielding advice from 6 July will also not be able to take place in the city.
The local lockdown measures, which are the first of their kind for a city in the UK, come after the number of Coronavirus cases in Leicester has continued to rise.
Speaking in Parliament, the Health Secretary said that the 7-day COVID-19 infection rate in Leicester is 135 cases per 100,000 people, which is ‘three times higher than the next highest city’. Mr Hancock added that Leicester accounts for around 10% of all positive cases of the virus in the UK in the past week.
Mr Hancock said that further Coronavirus testing capacities would be sent to Leicester, urging anyone in the city with symptoms to come forward for a test. He also said that extra funding will be provided to councils in the area.
The stricter lockdown measures in Leicester will be kept under review and a review will be conducted in two weeks time to see if any of the measures can be released, Mr Hancock said.