What measures are being imposed in the Leicester lockdown?

A regional flare-up of coronavirus cases means Leicester will not emerge from parts of lockdown as swiftly as the rest of England.

As pubs, restaurants and cafes get ready to reopen across the country from Saturday, residents in Leicester have been told to stay at home, with schools and shops to shut this week.

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

-What is closing down and why?

A spike in infections in Leicester means the city has three times more cases than the city with the next highest total.

To arrest its spread, from Tuesday all non-essential shops will have to shut while schools will close their doors to most pupils from Thursday.

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.

Coronavirus – Tue Jun 23, 2020
Leicester will not enjoy the reopening of pubs and restaurants from Saturday (Joe Giddens/PA)

All but essential travel to, from and within the city is being discouraged, while residents are being told to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

Extra facilities have been set up for walk-in tests and more home testing kits are being made available as anyone with symptoms must come forward for a test, Mr Hancock said.

– What geographical area is covered?

As well as the city of Leicester, which had a population 329,839 people at the 2011 census, the “surrounding conurbation” will also be affected.

Mr Hancock cited the town of Oadby and the villages of Glenfield and Birstall as examples, adding: “We will be publishing the exact details of which wards are included in these measures imminently.”

I have today announced local action to tackle the #coronavirus outbreak in Leicester.

It is vital people follow social distancing rules and we tackle this virus.

— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) June 29, 2020

– What support is available for the people of Leicester?

Mr Hancock said extra money was being sent to Leicester and Leicestershire councils “to support them to enhance their communications” as well as making support available for people who need to self-isolate.

Through the councils, authorities will also help workplaces with coronavirus clusters to “implement more stringently the Covid-secure guidelines”.

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

“I just want to reiterate to those who are in Leicester right now… that the furlough scheme is in existence and it works now in the same way that it’s worked across the country.”

Mr Hancock said the Government is “still getting to the bottom of” the reasons why the outbreak in Leicester has occurred.

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