By Lucy Caulkett-
Stricter lockdown measures have been announced in Leicester in the wake of a rise in coronavirus cases in the city.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said non-essential shops will shut on Tuesday, and schools will close for most pupils on Thursday.
Hancock also announced that the loosening of restrictions for pubs and restaurants will also not be taking place in the city on Saturday because of the rise in the county which he said accounted for “10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week”.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday evening, he added: “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.”
Mr Hancock said the number of positive coronavirus cases in Leicester was “three times higher than the next highest city”.
Hancock said the decision to close non-essential retail was based on clinical advice, and added that “children had been particularly impacted” by the local outbreak.
Five schools in Leicester schools have closed since the beginning of June because Mr Hancock said details of the wards in Leicestershire affected by the new lockdown measures would be published “imminently”.
“I can understand it from [the government’s] perspective – they are entirely convinced that the level of the transmission of the disease in Leicester is at a higher level than I think the figures show.”
Leicestershire County Council leader Nick Rushton said “protecting residents is our main concern” adding that it “makes sense to step up restrictions in areas closer to the city”.
“I understand this is disappointing news for residents, parents of schoolchildren and businesses when most of the country is opening back up but it’s crucial that people follow the latest advice.
“Observing social distancing, hand-washing, wearing a face mask where required and getting tested if you have symptoms remain vital.”