The first local lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus could be imposed ‘within days’ according to reports.
There is growing concern about a rise in cases in the city of Leicester, where 658 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the two weeks up to June 16.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street press conference earlier this month about a localised outbreak in the city, along with one at an Asda meat factory in West Yorkshire.
On Sunday, ITV political editor Robert Peston reported that he had spoken to a senior member of the Government who suggested the UK’s first localised lockdown could soon be imposed in the city. Follow live updates on the coronavirus pandemic here.
The Sunday Times says a source close to Mr Hancock has said he is “quite worried” about Leicester and is considering “all options”.
However, the Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, told our colleagues at Leicestershire Live that there is “no point speculating” about a potential lockdown.
“There is no point speculating about going into a localised lockdown,” he said. “This sounds very speculative.
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“We know that the number of hospital admissions is going down locally and mercifully so is the number of deaths.
“That is the only firm data we have.
“After weeks of asking, on Thursday we (the city council) finally received information from the Government that will help us know much more about which parts of the city might have a particular issue with transmission.
“We are working through that data this weekend.
“Until we have done that we do not know what interventions might be required.”
He said: “Where would you even start with such a lockdown? Would you lock down the entire city?”