Leicester is set to become the first city in the UK to be placed in “local lockdown” in an attempt to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.
Non-essential shops that reopened on June 15th will be asked to close from June 30th and schools will close for all but the children of key workers on Thursday.
The relaxing of restrictions across the rest of the country for pubs and restaurants will also not apply in the city, with these new measures set to be reviewed two weeks after implementation.
The latest figures obtained by Leicester City Council show that 3,216 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the city since the start of the pandemic. Of these, 944 cases were reported in the last two weeks.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that Leicester had “10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week”.
He told the House of Commons that “targeted action” at factories, workplaces and schools over the past 10 days had not worked, meaning stronger measures were needed.
In a message to residents, Leicester’s Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said: “These measures are stricter than we anticipated but we understand the need for firm action. I am determined for us to make this work and to minimise the time these additional measures need to be in place in the city.
“We will of course continue to play our part in keeping people in the city safe and healthy.”
Earlier this month, we reported that Brighton and Hove Council had urged the Government to grant them enhanced lockdown powers to help deal with overcrowded beaches.
Following this announcement for Leicester, Brighton residents will be hoping that they are not on their way to a similar situation.
Featured image: © Wikimedia Commons.