Tougher restrictions imposed on Leicester amid virus surge

Cheryl Sanders
July 1, 2020

"From tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close, and as children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday", he said. He said children remained at low risk, but were likely to be spreading the disease.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said restrictions on daily life would tighten for those in the East Midlands city and its surrounding area. Leicester accounts for around 10 per cent of new infections in the country.

As the rest of the country prepares to relax a whole host of coronavirus rules on Saturday, non-essential shops in the city have been told to close their doors once more.

The government insisted it had been working closely with local partners.

Mr Hancock said the measures would be kept under review and would not stay in place "any longer than is necessary", adding: "We'll review if we can release any of the measures in two weeks".

Harborough, Oadby and Wigston MP Neil O'Brien tweeted the measures would "apply in outer parts of Leicester too - including all of my constituents in Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston", but that Great Glen, a village two miles south of Oadby, was not included.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth, who represents Leicester South, said: "We were alerted to the situation in Leicester 11 days ago and now we've got tonight from the Secretary of State the whack-a-mole strategy".

"That's why we took the decision, with a heavy heart it has to be said, to close schools in Leicester and in Leicestershire, within the Leicester conurbation", he said.

"We are waiting to hear", he told British MPs at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee evidence session.

Previously, Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby said policing the lockdown would be "something of a challenge" without knowing what the boundaries were.

What support is available for the people of Leicester?

The government must provide vital data more quickly to local authorities to help them deal with Covid-19 spikes in their areas, doctors say.

Mr Hancock said the Government is "still getting to the bottom of" the reasons why the outbreak in Leicester has occurred.

Other reports by iNewsToday