Stricter blockade measures have been announced in Leicester due to an increase in coronavirus cases in the city.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said non-essential stores would close on Tuesday and schools would close for most students on Thursday.
Loss of restrictions on bars and restaurants in England on Saturday will also not happen.
Mr Hancock said Leicester accounted for “10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week”.
He told the House of Commons on Monday evening: “We recommend people in Leicester to stay home as much as possible, and we recommend that you travel, in addition, basically, straight, from and inside Leicester.”
The Secretary of State added that the new local measures would be in force for at least two weeks, but would be kept under constant scrutiny, and “we will not keep them in place longer than necessary.”
Mr Hancock said the number of positive coronavirus cases in Leicester was “three times higher than the next highest city”, and the relaxation of safeguards on July 6 – which would allow the most at-risk clinicians to pass. more time out – also will not take place in Leicester.
He said the decision to close the non-essential minority was based on clinical advice, and added that “children were particularly affected” by the local blast and the risk of transmitting Covid-19 from children is why schools will be closed.
“To be clear, children are at very, very low risk of suffering from Covid himself but we have seen in the proportion of children who have tested positive and can therefore transmit the disease,” he said.
Five Leicester schools have been closed since the beginning of June due to the number of cases of coronavirus and the wider closures from Thursday will affect most students, but the children of “critical workers” and those classified as vulnerable will be affected. still be able to participate.
The suburbs of Leicester, such as Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield, will also be affected, but Mr Hancock said the details of the units in Leicestershire covered by the new blockade measures would be published “iminently”.
The Leicester City Council said the “toughest blockade restrictions” would be in effect for “at least two weeks”, and was working to decide which other parts of Leicestershire would be affected.
Authorities said in a statement: “The latest figures from the city council show that 3,216 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Leicester since the start of the epidemic. Of these, 944 cases have been reported in the last two weeks.
“These figures include the number of patients and staff testing as positive in hospitals … and positive cases identified in testing centers.”
Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the measures imposed by the government were “stricter than we envisioned but we understand the need for strong action”.
He said: “[The government] are clearly defined to start with the maximum, as they were, to see how it works and then perhaps to use the lesson from this in other areas, I have no doubt will follow.
“It simply came to our notice then [the government’s] perspective – they are fully convinced that the level of disease transmission in Leicester is at a higher level than I think the figures show ”.
The head of the Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton, said “protecting residents is our main concern” and added that “it makes sense to increase restrictions in areas closer to the city”.
“I understand that this is disappointing news for residents, parents of school students and businesses when most of the country is reopening, but it is essential that people follow the latest advice.
“Observing social distance, washing hands, wearing a face mask when required, and testing if you have symptoms remain vital.”
Mr Hancock said the government had also “agreed on further measures” to resolve the Leicester blast:
- A walking test center will open in the city, alongside mobile testing units
- City and county councils will be given “additional funding” to improve communication with the Covid-19 population in all relevant languages.
- The tips will provide “support is available for those who need to be isolated”
- Jobs that have seen “problem groups” will be helped to implement strict Covid-19 guidelines
He added that the government is “still reaching the end” of the possible reasons why the blast occurred in Leicester.
Blake Edvard, owner of the Flappers and Gentlemen salon, said he was “devastated” by the news.
The Leicester hairdresser was supposed to reopen on Saturday but will now remain closed “without a new date in sight”.
He said: “It will be really tough for the customers as well.
“Time is running out [for the business now], we will need more support.
“Even though the staff is getting stronger, the rent still has to be paid, all the other bills still have to be paid.
“We don’t know what the next 12 months will be like.”
Leicester’s Highcross Shopping Center tweeted on Monday evening that “only essential retail stores,” along with “restaurants and cafes offering transportation or distribution services,” would open Tuesday.
Rakesh Parmar, who owns Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe in the city center, said further restrictions would affect him “financially very, very badly”.
He said: “The impact of coronavirus hit us on March 23, we closed for 10 weeks, and then reopened on June 15 – it was a long slogan.”
Mr Parmar said he fully “understood” why a further blockade would be needed, but asked how his clients were feeling. He said: “Very, very scared because it’s closer to home than we realized.”
If there is one thing that has become clear during pandemics, it is that the quicker action is better taken.
Given the scale of the outbreak in Leicester that has emerged, it is therefore not surprising that the government is taking tough action.
But the question behind the scenes is whether it took long to see the scale of the explosion.
One of the concerns about the evidence and tracking system is how quickly data is transferred from the national team to local officials.
The national team goes through many cases – every complex case involving nursing homes, schools and prisons is automatically transferred.
But what local authorities are not getting quickly are comprehensive details about positively tested individuals.
It means that opportunities to see trends and early groupings may be lost.
It is now clear that cases in the city have increased for several weeks.
This at least raises the concern that the explosion took place later than it should. If this is the case, it is important to learn lessons because it is very likely that there will be more flashes like this in the coming weeks and months.
Earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a local “hit-and-run” strategy used to deal with the blasts in Weston-super-Mare and around the GP’s operations in London would also “behave in Leicester.”
Speaking after Mr. Hancock in Commons, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “We were notified of the situation in Leicester 11 days ago.
“If we are – as a nation – relieved of the trouble without blocking, then those areas that see flashing will need greater speed in response, otherwise we don’t risk the moles not disappearing.”
Leicester West MP Liz Kendall criticized the government for being “too slow” to join the city council, adding: “Over [the] the last few days there have been holiday breaks, leaving people worried and confused. “
Meanwhile, South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa said he was working to get “the necessary clarity” on the areas affected by the localized blockade.
Hinckley and Bosworth MPs Dr Luke Evans also said he was “waiting for the official map of [the] blocking area “.
Do you live, work or run a business in the area? How will this affect you? Share your experiences by sending emails.
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