Britain locks down city of Leicester after COVID-19 flare-up

Local lockdown ordered in English city of Leicester over high COVID infection rate

"On shops, the non-essential retail, we will be closing them by law and changing the law in the next day or two to put that into effect", Mr Hancock said.

Schools will close from Thursday, apart from for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

He continued: "Unfortunately, the clinical advice is that the relaxation of shielding measures due on July 6 cannot now take place in Leicester".

The measures were imposed on Guetersloh county, home to some 360,000 people, for an initial one-week period almost a week ago.

"We are also not releasing the legal measures that lift the lockdown for the rest of the country".

As well as the city centre, the local lockdown will also apply to Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield in the county.

Leicestershire County Council said it was working on the details of this with Public Health England.

According to Public Health England data, nearly 3,000 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Leicester since the start of the coronavirus epidemic.

Of these, 944 cases were reported in the last two weeks.

Leicester has become the first city in the United Kingdom to be put under a local lockdown, as the government seeks to curb the rise of coronavirus cases in the city.

Matt Hancock made the announcement in the House of Commons.

A new indoor testing centre will open on Tuesday at the Highfields Community Centre, with further testing sites planned.

Asked how people would be stopped from travelling outside the city, the health secretary replied: "We're recommending against all but essential travel both to and from and within Leicester, and as we saw during the peak, the vast majority of people will abide by these rules".

He said in order to control the virus "it requires sacrifices by everybody, we need to do that in Leicester now". "We really need to speed this up".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told lawmakers late Monday after a series of meetings, including one chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that in addition to the school closures, shops that don't sell essential goods, such as food and medicines, will have to shutter themselves again, barely two weeks after they reopened. "Those shielding were particularly anxious".

However, city mayor Peter Soulsby said it had been hard to get details from the government and even the exact boundaries of the lockdown.

"I want to stress to people that we are not out of the woods yet".



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