AS Leicester city and parts of Leicestershire continue to follow stricter lockdown restrictions, than other parts of the country, the councils and Public Health England are asking residents to stay at home and stay safe, particularly this weekend as the rest of the country starts to open up again.
Ivan Browne, director of public health for Leicester, said: “We are urging all residents to only make essential journeys and to stay at home as much as they can in a very similar way to how they did during the beginning of lockdown.
“We would like to urge people to not be tempted to leave the county this weekend to pay a visit to other areas that are nearby and opening up, or to visit friends and family as restrictions ease in other parts of the country.
“We understand that this is a very frustrating and worrying time for the population of Leicester and Leicestershire, but it is important that we work together, and all play our part in controlling this virus in our local area.”
In addition, bars, restaurants and hairdressers will not reopen tomorrow as planned and the non-essential shops that opened on 15th June have now closed. Due to all the preventative measures in place around the Premier League as an elite sport, there is no reason football games cannot continue behind closed doors.
Schools will only remain open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers and those who are shielding should continue to do so.
These restrictions apply not just to the city of Leicester, but also to the wider urban areas including Oadby and Wigston, Birstall and Glenfield.
The Leader of Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton, has addressed concerned county residents: “People on the city outskirts are rightly worried and some are questioning their inclusion in the lockdown. But put simply – this is based on public health evidence, higher cases - and is a stark reminder to all of us to stay vigilant.
“Since the Secretary of State’s announcement on Monday night, we’ve worked hard to provide clear information. A map was available on our website first thing on Tuesday, with a list of affected areas. This was followed by a postcode checker on Tuesday evening which received 120,000 hits in a single day.
“We’ve worked closely with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care to make careful decisions and we must all see this through to reduce the risk.”
Sue Ibbotson, Incident Director for Public Health England, said: “These measures have been implemented to control the spread of Covid-19 in Leicestershire and to keep residents safe. Expanded testing facilities are available and anyone with symptoms, or who has been close to anyone with symptoms should come forward for a test.
“It’s very important that everyone in Leicestershire continues to socially distance; wear face coverings, and practice good hand hygiene. Remember if you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change to your sense of smell or taste, self-isolate and arrange a test immediately.”
It is in the interests of the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and the whole country that these additional measures are followed to control the onward transmission of coronavirus. It is in everyone’s interests that this virus is controlled both locally and nationally. Local action is an important tool in our armoury to deal with outbreaks while we get the country back on its feet.
The restrictions will be reviewed in two weeks and will not be in place any longer than is necessary.