Leicester became the first city to go into a local lockdown with schools and non-essential shops shutting for a fortnight after a spike in coronavirus cases.
THE city of Leicester has been ordered to remain in lockdown for another two weeks after a local spike in coronavirus numbers caused the government to take drastic measures.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said non-essential shops will close from tomorrow and pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will remain closed for the next fortnight. Mr Hancock told the House of Commons: “Given the growing outbreak in Leicester, we cannot recommend that the easing of the national lockdown, set to take place on July 4, happens in Leicester.”
He confirmed that because children “have been particularly impacted by this outbreak” schools will also need to close from Thursday – only staying open for vulnerable children and those of key workers. The Health Secretary said in Leicester cases have “continued to rise” and there are now 135 cases per 100,000 people – three times higher than the next highest city, Bradford.
He told the public to avoid all but essential travel to and from Leicester and urged locals to stay in their homes as much as possible.
Business owners fight back
Leicester business owners have criticised the government’s extension of the city’s lockdown, saying the measures “won’t make a difference.” The Health Secretary said the national lockdown easing would not be happening in the area, meaning pubs, hairdressers and restaurants will not be able to open as planned.
Non-essential shops in Leicester must close from Tuesday and schools will close to most pupils from Thursday. Robin Dagnall, the owner of Hair1RD hairdressers in the city centre, said that from a business point of view he “needs to get the customers back in.”