By Tony Winterburn • 18 August 2020 • 9:52
Leicester’s lockdown is to be lifted today after seven weeks as new infections continue to plummet.
It’s taken nearly two months of lockdown in Leicester but strict measures are due to be lifted today in a much-awaited announcement – lockdown will be slightly eased after a drop in coronavirus cases, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
The health secretary had originally told the House of Commons some restrictions would be lifted from 24 July “but not all” following a prolonged lockdown. The city had been under strict measures from 29 June after a spike in cases caused concerns.
Restrictions on schools and nurseries will be lifted but bars remain closed as virus rates “still remain well above the national average”, Mr Hancock said. The secretary of state said the latest data showed the seven-day infection rate in Leicester was now 119 cases per 100,000 people, which is down from 135 when the prolonged lockdown was announced.
The current situation in the city prevents residents from meeting people from different households in homes or gardens. However, now cases now getting under control the Health Secretary Matt Hancock decided to announce an easing of the measures. A No 10 spokesperson has said the measures are “under constant review”.
Birmingham on the watch list
The new move comes as the director of public health for Birmingham City Council revealed that Birmingham was now on a ‘watch list’ following a recent surge in coronavirus cases.
Dr Justin Varney said: ‘We could very easily be in a situation like we have seen in Leicester and Greater Manchester… looking at the national pattern, we have now overtaken Sandwell (which was on a list of most concerning locations) – it would not surprise me if Birmingham joins that list.’ According to Dr Varney, at the start of August, the city had an infection rate of around 12 cases per 100,000 of the population.
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