Leicester lockdown: Tory minister details ‘exceptional support’ for COVID-19 stricken city

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The local government minister confirmed that special relief will be provided to businesses in Leicester that will be financially affected by the local lockdown. Mr Clarke also told talkRADIO that the Government hopes to use staged interventions to ensure there is not another scenario similar to the one that faces the East Midlands city. 

Mr Clarke said: “We all feel desperate for the city of Leicester.

“If you are a business owner in Leicester who was preparing to reopen on Saturday or has just reopened as non-essential retail, what a blow this is.

“We do not want there to be more Leicesters.

“Our entire policy is about staged interventions as early as we can.

“The situation with Leicester has, unfortunately, deteriorated over recent days.

“There will be exceptional support to cover the losses that those businesses will now experience.

Yesterday Matt Hancock announced that Leicester will be placed in a localised lockdown following a COVID-19 outbreak in the city.

The Health Secretary told the House of Commons on Monday that Leicester would be placed into a local lockdown following an increasing number of coronavirus cases in the city.

Mr Hancock said: “We cannot recommend that the easing of the national lockdown set to take place on July 4 happens in Leicester.

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

“We have decided that from tomorrow non-essential retail will have to close.

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

“We recommend to people in Leicester stay at home as much as you can.

“We recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.

“We will take further steps if that is what is necessary.”

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