Thursday, 2 Jul 2020

South Leicestershire residents FURIOUS over lack of clarity within new lockdown measures

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has put Leicester back into a localised lockdown with non-essential shops closing from today following a surge in infections. However, there has been some confusion over exactly which areas will be affected.

South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa said he was working to get “necessary clarity” over the areas affected by the localised lockdown.

He tweeted: “I know this is frustrating – I’m still awaiting official confirmation as to which parts of South Leicestershire are included in the local lockdown, I wouldn’t want to give anyone information that isn’t correct.

“I’m working to get the necessary clarity for my constituents ASAP.”

The tweet gained a flood of responses from frustrated residents, all wanting to know if and how they will be affected by the new measures.

One user replied: “The fact that a clear cut map was not released with this announcement is appalling. This causes confusion and frustration with community.

“Every time these frustrations occur you are losing more public trust.”

A second added: “You are the MP and you haven’t even been notified.

“Do your colleagues really care about the people of Leicester and Leicestershire or are they seeing the first spike and reacting like schoolgirls.

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“If anything it shows that they have no respect for you as a colleague.”

The comments come following the news that schools will also be shut again from Thursday, as Mr Hancock confirmed a return to stricter measures.

He said the easing of the lockdown planned for the rest of England on July 4 cannot happen in Leicester because of the rising cases.

The East Midlands city, which has a population of around 350,000, has three times as many infections as any other UK city.

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Mr Hancock implored people in Leicester to stay at home as much as they can while the local lockdown measures continue.

He told MPs: “Having taken clinical advice on the actions necessary and discussed them with the local team in Leicester and Leicestershire, we have made some difficult but important decisions.

“We’ve decided that from tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close and as children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers as they did throughout.”

He added that the relaxation of shielding measures for vulnerable people, due on July 6, cannot now take place in the city.

“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,” he said.

“We’ll monitor closely adhering to social distancing rules and we’ll take further steps if that is what’s necessary.”

The Health Secretary said the measures will be kept under review and will not be kept in place “any longer than is necessary”, adding: “We’ll review if we can release any of the measures in two weeks.

“These Leicester-specific measures will apply not just to the city of Leicester but also the surrounding conurbation including, for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.

“I know that this is a worrying time for people living in Leicester and I want you to know you have our full support.

“We do not take these decisions lightly but with the interests of the people of Leicester in our hearts.”

Mr Hancock announced further measures in Leicester to help tackle the outbreak, including the setting up of a walk-in testing centre for those with coronavirus symptoms.

He said: “Anyone in Leicester with symptoms must come forward for a test. These actions are profoundly in the national interest too because it’s in everyone’s interests that we control the virus as locally as possible. Local action like this is an important tool in our armoury to deal with outbreaks while we get the country back on its feet.”

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