Leicester lockdown map: What restrictions are being lifted, and when is the next review?

Leicester became the first city in Britain to be placed in a local lockdown on June 29, after public health officials voiced concern at the city’s alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. 

Earlier this month, the Government announced that parts of the city would be released from lockdown, while a “targeted” approach will see pockets remain under tighter restrictions. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the lockdown in Leicester. 

What restrictions are being lifted?

Under current government guidelines, restrictions will be lifted for the Borough of Oadby and Wigston from Aug 3.

Residents in these areas will return to national social distancing guidelines, with the exception of clinically ill and vulnerable individuals who have been advised to keep shielding.

Starting from Aug  3, a large number of public spaces will reopen within Leicester City including: restaurants, bars,  places of worship, libraries, community centres and outdoor playgrounds and gyms. 

Earlier this month, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that schools and nurseries could reopen from July 24. 

What areas are included in Leicester’s lockdown?

On Tuesday 30 June, the official map of the lockdown boundaries was released with areas such as Birstall, Beaumont Leys, Glenfield and South Wigston all included.

Under the current guidelines, restrictions apply to residents within the Borough of Oadby and Wigston and Leicester City, meanwhile restrictions were eased on July 18, within Charnwood and Blaby District. 

What are the current rules?

Residents within the affected areas can meet up to six people outside of their household, providing that 2-metre social distancing rules are observed. 

However, individuals are not allowed to stay overnight in another household that is not in their support bubble or meet with individuals within a private garden. 

Single-adult households (those who live alone or with dependent children only) can still form a support bubble with one other household.

Leisure centres, gyms and pools must remain closed within the area, while retail were reopened on 24 July.

Why was Leicester subject to a local lockdown?

In June, health officials in Leicester reported an increasing number of infections within the city. 

In the two weeks leading up to June 23, for example, Leicester City Council reported 944 positive coronavirus tests.

A few days later, Matt Hancock revealed the city’s seven-day infection rate was “three times higher than the next highest city”, and in the week before the city accounted for 10 per cent of all positive Covid-19 cases throughout the country. 

The Health Secretary said that targeted action at hot spots such as schools and workplaces, had failed to reduce the number of infections and as a result “broader measures” such as a localised lockdown were needed. 

When will the lockdown be reviewed?

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed in a tweet on Thursday July 30 that new restrictions preventing two households from meeting indoors that were imposed in parts of Northern England would continue to apply to the city of Leicester.

1/4 We’re constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we’ve seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England.

— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) July 30, 2020

However, he did not clarify whether pubs, restaurants and hairdressers would be allowed to reopen after they were ordered to close on June 29 after a spike in Covid-19 infections in the city.

The next official review is scheduled to take place on Aug 13. 

What other changes will be implemented throughout the city? 

Mr Hancock announced that extra testing facilities – including increased home testing kits and a walk-in test centre – will be made available to residents. 

Meanwhile the city will be given “extra funding” to improve public health messaging within Leicester. 

What about local lockdowns in other areas?

Northern England

On the evening of July 30, Boris Johnson ordered swathes of the north of England back into partial lockdown in a bid to stop a second wave of coronavirus. 

As many as four million people in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire are now banned from holding meetings indoors involving people from different households.

The decision comes after Public Health England data showed coronavirus cases reaching worrying levels across the region.

In the past week, there have been 69 cases per 100,000 in Blackburn with Darwen, which has now surpassed Leicester, where the infection rate has fallen to 50 cases per 100,000.

Effective from Friday, the new restrictions extend to Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendleton, Rossendale, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.

Under the new rules, two households are no longer permitted to meet at home or in a private garden, except where they have formed a support bubble.

Pubs and restaurants will remain open, but two households will no longer be allowed to mix indoors. 

The restriction extends to cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues.