LEICESTER is starting to emerge from four weeks of extra coronavirus restrictions under the UK’s first local lockdown.
Matt Hancock has now confirmed the local lockdown will be partially lifted going into August. Here’s everything we know about the new rules.The streets of Leicester have remained deserted through July due to local lockdown
When will the local lockdown end?
Restrictions were originally put in place in Leicester by the Health Secretary on June 29 after a spike in Covid-19 infections.
A month on, Lockdown is finally being eased across Leicester.
As of August 3, the borough of Oadby and Wigston will have all restrictions lifted.
Restrictions have also been previously lifted in the Blaby District and Charnwood areas.
Leicester City will see many restrictions lifted from August 3 too, including the reopening of pubs, places of worship, and restaurants, just like the rest of England.
Cinemas and museums will also reopen after the four-week local lockdown – and religious ceremonies can take place under the coronavirus lockdown easing.
Leicester residents can also go on holiday with members of their own household.
However some rules still remain in place, which are similar to the ones recently imposed on the North West.
Giving his reaction to the Government’s announcement about Leicester on July 30, the city’s mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “I wish there was clarity.
“We’re beginning to get clarity but even now there’s a number of questions about travel and other aspects of this that haven’t been spelt out – and the people of Leicester are turning to me and the council and asking what can we do, and when can we do it.
“The answer to that is: we’ll let you know as soon as the Government tells us.”
Asked what information he specifically needed from the Government, Sir Peter said: “What we need is to understand what can open and when it can open, understand what we can do about meeting up with family and friends and where they can do that; and what is particularly unclear is what the travel restrictions are going to be.
“A lot of people are hoping that they can grab a bit of time to go for a summer holiday, and we’re not sure here in Leicester whether that’s going to be permitted or not.”
Leicester Market on Thursday July 30
When did the second lockdown start?
On Monday, June 29, Mr Hancock announced that from Tuesday, June 30, non-essential shops in the city would have to close, and from Thursday, July 2, schools would shut to all but the most vulnerable children.
Mr Hancock said that the decision to close schools on Thursday rather than Tuesday was to give parents time to make suitable childcare preparations.
While the rest of the country opened up on Saturday, July 4, Leicester’s pubs, hairdressers, and restaurants had to remain closed.
Officials asked for more time to get the disease under control in Leicester after Public Health England identified 3,216 cases since the start of the epidemic – 944 in the two weeks before lockdown.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been reviewing the situation in Leicester every fortnight
What are the current restrictions?
The government’s latest update sets out the following changes as most the local lockdown is lifted.
The Borough of Oadby and Wigston will be back to having the same freedoms of most of the rest of the country.
Lockdowns were lifted in Blaby District and Charnwood on July 18 too.
In Leicester City there will be similar measures to those that were just imposed on the North West:
Non-essential shops can now reopen, as can schools and other educational institutions.
What restrictions are being lifted?
From Monday, August 3, the following can reopen to bring the city in line with the national changes that took place July 4:
- Restaurants, cafes and workplace canteens
- Bars and pubs
- Hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
- Places of worship
- Community centres
- Social clubs
- Museums and galleries
- Hair salons and barbers
- Outdoor playgrounds and gyms
- Funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks and activities
- Amusement arcades
- Model villages
- Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres
Leisure centres, gyms and pools must remain closed
Single-adult households (those who live alone or with dependent children only) can still form a support bubble with one other household
People from different households are still able to meet in a group of up to 6 and only outdoors, provided they follow strict social distancing
People should not meet in private homes or gardens, including visitors from out of town.
When will the local lockdown be reviewed again?
Leicester City’s situation is up for review again in two weeks.
The government is keeping a keen eye on the situation and while no date has been formalised, there should be more news
When will the local lockdown end?
It is not certain, but if things continue to go well for the city then they could be fully out of lockdown by the next review in two weeks.