Monday, July 6, 2020

Lockdown to be extended in Leicester for at least two weeks

People in Leicester and its outlying areas are to be asked to continue to follow stricter lockdown restrictions for at least two weeks, and non-essential shops will be asked to close.

This means the city’s bars, restaurants and hairdressers will not open on July 4 as planned, and shops that were allowed to open on 15 June will have to close again from today (30 June).

The changes will also apply to parts of Leicestershire close to the city’s boundaries. Leicestershire County Council and Public Health England are working on the detail of this.

All schools in the area identified will be asked to close for most pupils from Thursday (2 July) and will not reopen until next term. More information will be shared with parents tomorrow (Tuesday 30 June).

The changes will require new legislation to be drafted before they can be implemented.

The Government has said these measures must be taken in Leicester following a surge in cases in the east of the city over the past two weeks. They will be reviewed two weeks after implementation.

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.

These figures include the number of patients and staff testing as positive in hospitals, known as Pillar 1 figures, and positive cases identified in testing centres, known as Pillar 2.

The council did not previously have access to the Pillar 2 data, but this is now being provided on a weekly basis.

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.

The city council is now reviewing its plans to extend the opening of its own buildings such as libraries, museums and children’s centres.

The council asked the Government for more detailed information after its own public health team noticed a surge in the number of people testing positive in the city.

The city council was provided with detailed testing information for the first time on Thursday (25 June), one week after the Secretary of State Matt Hancock announced that there was a local outbreak in Leicester.

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