Local lockdown announced in Leicester as shops and schools to close

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Local lockdown announced in Leicester as shops and schools to close

Non-essential shops in Leicester will close from Tuesday and schools will close to most pupils from Thursday as part of restrictions imposed after a rise in coronavirus cases, England’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told MPs.

Mr Hancock said the easing of the lockdown planned for the rest of England on July 4 could not happen in Leicester because of rising cases.

He said: “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.”

Matt Hancock has advised people from Leicester to stay at home as much as they can while the local lockdown measures continue.

Mr Hancock told MPs: “Having taken clinical advice on the actions necessary and discussed them with the local team in Leicester and Leicestershire, we have made some difficult but important decisions.

“We’ve decided that from tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close and as children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers as they did throughout.

“Unfortunately, the clinical advice is that the relaxation of shielding measures due on July 6 cannot now take place in Leicester.

“We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.

“We’ll monitor closely adhering to social distancing rules and we’ll take further steps if that is what’s necessary.”

Matt Hancock said the measures would be kept under review and would not be kept in place “any longer than is necessary”, adding: “We’ll review if we can release any of the measures in two weeks.

“These Leicester-specific measures will apply not just to the city of Leicester but also the surrounding conurbation including, for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.

“I know that this is a worrying time for people living in Leicester and I want you to know you have our full support.

“We do not take these decisions lightly but with the interests of the people of Leicester in our hearts,” the Health Secretary added.

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