Leicester lockdown extension will mean change in law, Hancock says

UK's lockdown has been one of the longest in Europe

Leicester will be the first area in the United Kingdom to go into a local lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister will use a keynote speech in the West Midlands on Tuesday to say his message is "build, build, build" as the United Kingdom comes out of lockdown after the Covid-19 pandemic, and that the Government intends to spend £5 billion "to accelerate infrastructure projects".

Leicester will stay under stricter lockdown regulations from tomorrow, the Government have announced.

While the exact area impacted is not expected to be made clear until later on Tuesday, Mr Hancock said Leicester and the surrounding conurbation including Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield would be included.

Harsher restrictions are coming into force in Leicester following a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the city.

He said in order to control the virus "it requires sacrifices by everybody, we need to do that in Leicester now". And although county rates are below the national and regional averages, we can't be complacent and it makes sense to step up restrictions in areas closer to the city.

Asked if people from Leicester will simply drive to other locations to go to pubs and restaurants this weekend when they open in the rest of the country, Hancock said: "We're recommending against all but essential travel both to and from and within Leicester, and as we saw during the peak, the vast majority of people will abide by these rules".

Just minutes after Leicestershire County Council updated its website with details of the local lockdown, its page went down.

He continued: "Unfortunately, the clinical advice is that the relaxation of shielding measures due on July 6 cannot now take place in Leicester".

"The more people that follow the rules, the quicker we will get hold of this virus and get Leicester back to normal".

They will be reviewing this in two weeks time.

Regarding travel restrictions, the Health Secretary said "we will if we have to", but he added he hoped people in the city would "do the right thing".

"But with the interest of the people of Leicester in our hearts, I want everyone in Leicester to know that we've taken every one of these decisions to protect them from this bad virus".

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