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Leicester lockdown to continue for another two weeks

Published on Thursday, July 16, 2020

City skyline

SECRETARY of State for Health Matt Hancock has announced that lockdown measures in Leicester City are to stay in place for another two weeks.

Restrictions will also remain in Oadby & Wigston but will be lifted in other parts of the county.

The Government is to give councils local powers to re-open non-essential shops from July 24, when restrictions on schools and early-years childcare will also be removed.

The measures introduced in the rest of the country to open the hospitality sector will not apply in Leicester.

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “I am not surprised by this decision but remain extremely frustrated that a sledgehammer approach is being taken to deal with an issue in a very small part of the city.

“Now that we finally have the very detailed data we have been calling for over the past few months, we can take targeted local action to get the virus under control, without the need for the force of law or a full city lockdown.

“We have already showed the Government what can be achieved when they work with local councils on the ground, by helping them to set up the biggest testing operation in the country which is now responsible for more than 10% of all testing in England.

“If the Government allowed us to focus on the 10% of the city where infection rates are higher, we are more than capable of doing what is needed.

“We will of course continue with our efforts to eradicate the virus which are having some success, and that work will remain our key priority.

“It is also now even more essential the Government gives us the go ahead to release the £10m in business grant funding that we have ready to go, but have previously been told cannot be distributed.

“Leicester businesses have already been hit very hard by this lockdown and we must do all we can to save livelihoods as well as lives, as we face another very difficult period.”

The lockdown measures will be reviewed again by the Government in two weeks’ time.