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Tougher restrictions imposed in UK as Leicester goes back into lockdown

Non-essential shops will be closed from today as Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks to shift focus to the recovery from the pandemic.

Image: PA Images

HARSHER RESTRICTIONS ARE coming into force in Leicester in the UK following a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the city.

Non-essential shops will be closed from today, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks to shift focus to the recovery from the pandemic with a multi-billion pound “new deal” for infrastructure projects.

Rising numbers of cases in the East Midlands city – 10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week – mean the planned easing of restrictions on Saturday will not take place, with people have been advised against all but essential travel.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said Leicester’s seven-day infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 – three times that of the next highest city.

While the exact area impacted is not expected to be made clear until later today, Hancock said Leicester and the surrounding conurbation including Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield would be included.

Local authority boundaries will complicate deciding which areas to include in the heightened restrictions, with parts of Oadby to Leicester’s south east and Birstall to the city’s north overseen by Leicestershire County Council.

Harborough, Oadby and Wigston MP Neil O’Brien tweeted the measures would “apply in outer parts of Leicester too – including all of my constituents in Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston”, but that Great Glen, a village two miles south of Oadby, was not included.

The city’s mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “These measures are stricter than we anticipated but we understand the need for firm action.

“I am determined that we will make this work and to minimise the time these additional measures need to be in place in the city.”

The city area also includes the King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City, who are due to host a Premier League game against Crystal Palace this weekend – a match which could now be moved to a neutral venue away from the area.

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Meanwhile, in Australia, parts of Melbourne are going back into lockdown in what MP Daniel Andrews called an “unacceptable rise” in Covid-19 cases. 

From tomorrow night at 11:59, 10 postcodes in Victoria are going back into stage 3 lockdown for four weeks, Andrews said. 

It was announced last week that Australia’s military will send 1,000 troops to Melbourne in an effort to help contain the country’s only significant coronavirus outbreak over fears of a second wave.

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