Leicester has been under local lockdown measures since the end of June, after a spike in coronavirus cases. Non-essential shops were closed, travel restricted and meeting in houses not permitted as the Government initiated its ‘Whack a mole’ strategy.
The lockdown area includes Leicester City, Birstall, Beaumont Leys, Glenfield and South Wigston.
More areas have now joined Leicester in lockdown, including Greater Manchester, Aberdeen, West Yorkshire and parts of Lancashire.
Other areas including Pendle, Oldham, Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford are at risk of lockdown and are being watched closely by local councils.
There have been fears for businesses with lockdown conditions reimposed across the UK, after months of closures have already put strain on the high streets nationwide.
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Is Leicester still in local lockdown?
On Wednesday, some measures eased in Leicester, allowing for some businesses and venues to reopen.
However, lockdown restrictions are still in place on some venues, beauty services, and weddings as well as travel and social interactions.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday: “My gratitude goes out to the people of Leicester who have all made sacrifices to keep the virus at bay and protect their local communities.
“The rate of infection has now dropped to a safe enough level to allow further businesses including beauty salons, nail bars and some outdoor venues to reopen in the area.
“Current restrictions on gatherings must remain in place to further bring down the rate of infection.
“We must remain vigilant, and I urge everyone in Leicester to continue to follow the rules – wash your hands regularly, follow social distancing, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms, and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to.”
The next review on Leicester will come before the end of August, with the Government and local councils constantly reviewing data on the rate of infection, transmission rate and number of cases.
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The Government also advises the following settings or activities should not restart in Leicester City:
- indoor performances (even with a socially distanced audience)
- close contact services, which are any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
- wedding receptions and celebrations for up to 30 people in the form of a sit-down meal
In terms of social interaction:
- People from different households must not meet in a private home or garden. You must not:
- host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
- meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of Leicester, unless they’re in your support bubble
Fines can be issues to anyone who flouts the social distancing guidelines, up to £3,200.
People aged 18 or over can be fined:
- £100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days
- £200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200