In the UK’s first full local lockdown since restrictions begun to ease, non-essential retailers in the city of Leicester have been forced to close.
Just two weeks after reopening, mobility stores in Leicester have been ordered by the Government to keep their doors shut today (Tuesday, June 30), as the number of coronavirus cases in the city spike.
In the announcement last night, health secretary, Matt Hancock, said these new measures will be in place for at least two weeks, but kept under constant review.
The enforcement comes after the city council reported 944 positive tests in the two weeks to 23 June – about one in 16 of the total UK cases during that period.
Hancock told the House of Commons last night (June 29): “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.”
Under these local restrictions, schools will close on Thursday and pubs and restaurants will not be able to open in Leicester this weekend.
Furthermore, people shielding in the city will have to continue to do so until further notice.
Suburbs of Leicester, such as Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield, will also be affected, but Hancock said details of the wards in Leicestershire covered by the new lockdown measures would be published “imminently”.
Hancock revealed these further measures will be taken by the government to tackle the outbreak in Leicester:
- A walk-in test centre will be opened in the city, alongside mobile testing units
- The city and county councils will be given “extra funding” to enhance communications to the population on Covid-19 in all relevant languages
- Councils will ensure “support is available to those who have to self-isolate”
- Workplaces that have seen “clusters of cases” will be helped to implement stringent Covid-19 guidance.
He added that the government is “still getting to the bottom of” the potential reasons why the outbreak in Leicester has occurred.