STAY at home. That’s the message from the government and public health experts, as a second national lockdown gets under way from Thursday 5 November.
If the transmission of the highly infection coronavirus is to be slowed down, people in Leicester will need to follow the rules rigidly – staying at home as much as possible, working from home if they can, travelling only when essential, and severely restricting their contact with other people.
For the next four weeks, people will no longer be able to meet anyone from outside their household or bubble in a private garden – but someone on their own will be able to meet another person on their own in a public open space. When around other people, you must stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble.
Meeting anyone indoors, who isn’t part of your household or support bubble, is prohibited.
During lockdown, overnight stays and holidays in the UK and abroad will not be allowed. People will not be able to stay in a second home, or stay with anyone they don’t live with (or are in a support bubble with) – and students at the city’s universities must not move between their student home and their family home during lockdown.
While supermarkets and essential shops and services will remain open, and food outlets will still be able to provide takeaway and delivery services, museums, gyms, leisure centres, hairdressers, beauty salons, theatres, cinemas, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops and services are amongst the businesses that will close from tomorrow (Thursday 5 November).
A number of city council buildings will also close. For the latest updates visit: www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/coronavirus/service-updates-in-leicester
Leicester’s two recycling centres at Freemen’s Common and Gypsum Close will remain open, and the council plans to continue with its weekly collections of orange bags and household waste.
Schools, colleges and universities will remain open throughout the lockdown.
The city council’s parks will also remain open, so people can enjoy time in the fresh air each day.
Leicester’s director of public health Professor Ivan Browne said: “For the next four weeks, the message is very simple: you must stay at home as much as possible to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.
“People in Leicester have had their lives restricted for longer than most, but I would urge everyone in the city to stay strong and keep going during the difficult weeks ahead. This new national lockdown gives us the opportunity to get the numbers in Leicester as low as possible, so that when the lockdown ends, we are able to go into the lowest possible tier. If we manage to do this, Leicester will have fewer restrictions and we will be able to live more normal lives.
“As winter approaches, and the virus is passed on more easily, we simply have to follow the rules, if we are to succeed in reducing its spread. As well as protecting our loved ones, it is in all our interests to do the right thing and get us to where we all want to be.
“It’s important to remember that small steps can make a big difference to the spread of the virus. Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, and if you do have to go out for essentials, wear a face covering and maintain social distancing from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
“If you develop symptoms, get a test as quickly as possible – and if you’re told to self-isolate, please do so for as long as you’re told to.”
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable, and who were shielding until recently, are advised to be particularly cautious.
Professor Browne said: “The fewer people you meet, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19.
“But anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to go out for some exercise with members of their household or support bubble, because the benefits of outdoor activity are significant.
“If you do choose to meet another person from outside of your support bubble, please take all sensible precautions, make sure you keep two metres apart, and only meet up in a public outdoor space.”
More information for clinically extremely vulnerable people is available on the Government’s website at: www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#protecting-people-more-at-risk-from-coronavirus
Everyone in Leicester should:
- stay at home as much as possible
- try to exercise outdoors each day
- shop for necessities as infrequently as possible
- wear a face covering when required
- wash or sanitise their hands frequently
- follow social distancing rules
- work from home, if possible
- walk or cycle if possible – and avoid travelling on buses at peak times if possible
- limit their contact with other people
- download the NHS Test & Trace app, if possible
- stay at home and get a test at the first sign of coronavirus by calling 119
- self-isolate, if told to do so
Since 28 September, anyone who receives a positive Covid-19 test or is told to self-isolate by the NHS Test & Trace Service must self-isolate by law, with anyone failing to self-isolate when they are required to do so facing a fine of between £1,000 and £10,000.
Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days, while anyone living in the same household as someone with symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days.
If you cannot work because you’ve been instructed to self-isolate by NHS test and trace and are on a low income with a qualifying benefit you can get a £500 test and trace support payment. The support payment scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
To find out if you qualify or to apply visit: www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/coronavirus/coronavirus-support-for-residents/test-and-trace-support-payment
The latest figures for Leicester show that 1,240 people tested positive for coronavirus in the seven days to 27 October. When Leicester went into its local lockdown at the end of June, the infection rate was 157 per 100,000 people. The rate now is 350 per 100,000 (seven days to 27 October).
Anyone who finds themselves in need of emergency assistance during the lockdown, or who knows someone who needs urgent help, can contact the city council via its dedicated helpline: email@example.com
More information about what you can and cannot do during the lockdown is available at the Government’s website: www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
The Government has said that its intention is to return to a regional approach to restrictions when the national lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December.