Matt Hancock: ‘My heart goes out to the people of Leicester’

Britain imposes local lockdown in city of Leicester after Covid-19 flare-up

Harsher restrictions are coming into force in Leicester following a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the city.

Schools will close from Thursday and will not reopen until next term.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the measures will be reviewed in two weeks, but what are they exactly?

What is closing down and why?

The city's seven-day infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 people - three times that of the next highest city.

Rising numbers of cases in the East Midlands city - 10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week - mean the planned easing of restrictions on Saturday will not take place, with people have been advised against all but essential travel.

Short of building a wall around the city, there is absolutely no way this is going to work.

"Given the Government's advice overnight and how it was clarified this morning, I was frankly astounded that the BHA considered it appropriate to race at Leicester", said McPherson, who was due to run Homing Star.

Schools will stay open for vulnerable youngsters and children of critical workers as they did before and people will be able to travel for childcare.

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


What geographical area is covered?

Mr Hancock said the measures will apply not just to the city of Leicester but also "the surrounding conurbation including, for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield". Surrounding areas in the county of Leicestershire were also included in the lockdown measures.

This includes parts of Blaby District and Charnwood in the county.

But Leicester's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, has criticised the government and Public Health England for being too slow to share testing data with the city's officials.

How will it be enforced?

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".

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

What support is available for the people of Leicester?

Mr Hancock added: "We are providing funding for local support".

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