Coronavirus lockdown to remain in Leicester and the north

Emily Cleary
·2-min read
Coronavirus alert messages on a sign in the centre of Leicester, as a decision is due to be made on whether to lift the lockdown restrictions in the city. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Leicester will remain in lockdown until at least next week, the government announced on Friday (Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Local coronavirus lockdowns in Leicester and large parts of northern England will remain in place until at least next week, the government announced on Friday.

The restrictions - which include a ban on two households meeting indoors - were due to be reviewed for Leicester after a local outbreak began to die down.

However, the government announced the local measures will not end until next week at the earliest.

Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and West Yorkshire are also subject to the restrictions.

The latest data for Leicester shows that infection rates have declined, so a further review will take place early next week.

OLDHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: General view of Oldham town centre on August 13, 2020 in Oldham, England. The town is on the brink of a local lockdown after a surge in coronavirus cases has left it the worst affected area in England. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Towns including Oldham (pictured) are expected to have restrictions imposed to curb local coronavirus outbreaks. Blackburn and Darwen will also remain under local lockdown (Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

A government spokesman said: “The latest evidence does not show a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and the Health Secretary, in collaboration with local leaders, has agreed that the rules must remain in place at present.

“This will help protect local residents, and allow more time for the changes to have an effect, cutting transmission among households."

Minister for Health, Edward Argar, said: “I’d like to thank everyone in Leicester for their continued patience in following these vital rules put in place to tackle the spread of the disease.

“It is essential we all remain vigilant, and I urge everyone in these areas to continue to follow the rules.”

Data also shows a continued rise in cases in Oldham and Pendle, while numbers remain high in Blackburn with Darwen.

The news comes as the rest of England’s prepares for a further relaxation of lockdown on Saturday.

Bowling alleys, ice skating rinks and casinos can reopen, and beauty salons and tattoo studios can offer additional treatments as part of the gradual relaxing of lockdown restrictions, while wedding receptions of up to 30 people will also now be allowed.

The move had originally been planned for 1 August but was delayed amid concerns over rising coronavirus infection rates.

On Friday the government revealed that the R rate range of levels of infection in the UK on the whole remained unchanged at one. However, the north west of England showed a top range of 1.1, meaning the rates of infection in that area are increasing.

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