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Leicester lockdown backlash as the city mayor asks for bailout money


There was an angry argument yesterday about the government's decision to block Leicester again.

The city's mayor called for a new bailout for companies in difficulty, and the police complained that they needed clear instructions on how to enforce restrictions.

The local police commissioner also criticized the "drip delivery" of information from Whitehall to local authorities.

It was annoying that a map showing which parts of the city and surrounding areas were affected by the blockage only appeared "long after" its announcement.

Niall Dickson, leader of the NHS confederation representing health care providers, said the ban was "confused" and warned: "What happened in Leicester could well be repeated elsewhere and we need a transparent approach to future local closures . " with clear accountability and public messages that are transparent, consistent and timely. & # 39;

The Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby (pictured), today called for a new bailout for companies in difficulty as the police complained about needing clear instructions on how to enforce restrictions

The Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, called for a bailout and said he was "very, very concerned" about the economic impact on the city, which has seen coronavirus cases increase in the past two weeks.

Non-essential stores that reopened two weeks ago should close yesterday, and schools will need to close for most students today.

The nationwide easing of restrictions this Saturday – including the reopening of pubs, hair salons and restaurants – will not extend to the city.

Residents were advised to stay at home as much as possible and were warned about all but essential travel. The exclusion zone comprises 147 schools controlled by the local authorities, which will have to close tomorrow except for the children of the key workers.

The zone also includes 239 restaurants, 196 hair salons or hairdressers and 182 pubs.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said that any employers in Leicester who have previously followed the vacation program could leave the workers on vacation again.

Yesterday, the shopping streets in the city center were still full of people.

The Gallowtree Gate in Leicester today prepares as a local for the new closure after an increase in the corona virus

The Gallowtree Gate in Leicester today prepares as a local for the new closure after an increase in the corona virus

The Leicestershire Police Federation said it was "impossible" to deal with the situation only based on "common sense" from the public.

Figures released yesterday by Leicester City Council show that 3,216 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed since the epidemic began, almost a third – 944 – of which have been reported in the past two weeks.

The number of young people under the age of 18 diagnosed with the virus in Leicester has trebled from five to 15 percent in the past six weeks.

Dr. Jon Bennett of Glenfield Hospital in the city said employees first noticed an increase in coronavirus intakes three weekends ago. A quarter of the hospital's 80 Covid patients are now receiving oxygen support.

Leicestershire Police Federation's Dave Stokes said its members would assess the "practical aspects" of the new ban.

Mayor urged to stop violating rules

Pictured: Sir Peter Soulsby from Leicester

Pictured: Sir Peter Soulsby from Leicester

Leicester's mayor was faced with calls for resignation last night after the block was lifted.

Sir Peter Soulsby had to apologize when a newspaper revealed that he had broken the rules last month by visiting his partner before the restrictions were relaxed.

The former Labor MP, 71, admitted "an error of judgment" after staying at home with partner Lesley Summerland. The neighbors said he stayed with Miss Summerland (64) up to four times a week.

Sir Peter lives seven miles away. On May 1st, he tweeted: "Stay home safely."

Andrew Bridgen, MP from Leicestershire Tory said: "Now we have the situation where there is a huge increase in infections.

Sir Peter Soulsby should really step down. He ignored the lock rules himself … it's his fault. "

He added: "It is important that we get clarification from the government as soon as possible about what the public can and cannot do about this targeted ban. As we have seen in the past few weeks and months, it will be almost impossible for our colleagues to monitor the police if the government's guidance and news are confusing to the public.

"We are still awaiting confirmation of the exact roles our colleagues will play in monitoring and potentially enforcing this" Leicester Lockdown "and the laws our members should apply.

We have seen examples from across the country that "common sense" is impossible for the police. "

Commissioner for Police and Crime Lord Willy Bach accepted that the new closure was justified, but added: “Surprisingly, a map of the (restricted) area was only made available to us long after the announcement. This has now been released, but unfortunately at the time the measures were introduced we received only minimal guidelines for practical implementation.

“I have a great understanding of the agencies responsible for the delivery. They needed clarity from the start and I am amazed that it is fed with drops throughout the day. & # 39;

He said the Leicestershire police "would continue to use the four Es (Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce)," but warned that the powers of the officials would be limited without additional legislation.

Health Minister Matt Hancock said earlier yesterday that additional tests in Leicester in the past ten days have shown an "unusually high incidence" of Covid-19 in children. He added: “Since children can transmit the disease – although it is very unlikely that they will develop the disease – we think it is safest to close schools.

Leicester is one of the most ethnically diverse places in Great Britain, where only 45 percent of the 330,000 inhabitants identify themselves as British. The city's infection rate is three times higher than in Bradford – the next worst affected area.

Doctors in Leicester said they saw an increase in cases for the first time three weeks ago – but only yesterday did the government release full data showing the extent of the outbreak.

The Ministry of Health said: "Public Health England started to exchange data with the local public health director as soon as an increase in cases was found."

The 71-year-old Labor Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, who has criticized the ministers for blocking the city again, has broken Covid's rules to visit his girlfriend

By Amie Gordon for MailOnline

The Mayor of Leicester violated the blocking rules to visit his girlfriend and stay in her house overnight.

Sir Peter Soulsby, 71, disregarded the lock to visit his partner Lesley Summerland, 64, and wait for their house in April and May.

The neighbors filmed the Labor Mayor several times with Ms. Summerland when he arrived "with travel bags and shirts".

Last night, Matt Hancock confirmed that Leicester – a city in the East Midlands with 330,000 inhabitants – would receive a two-week block extension.

Sir Peter Soulsby, 71, broke the rules to see his partner Lesley Summerland, 64, and do maintenance on their home

Sir Peter Soulsby, 71, broke the rules to see his partner Lesley Summerland, 64, and do maintenance on their home

The neighbors filmed the Labor Mayor several times with Ms. Summerland. Above: The mayor was filmed on a ladder while climbing, while Ms. Summerland leaned out of a window

The neighbors filmed the Labor Mayor several times with Ms. Summerland. Above: The mayor was filmed on a ladder while climbing, while Ms. Summerland leaned out of a window

The streets of Leicester were partially empty this morning when residents responded to warnings of an increase in the corona virus

The streets of Leicester were partially empty this morning when residents responded to warnings of an increase in the corona virus

The city's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said at a press conference today that he wished ministers had "warned" of the outbreak "a long time ago" and revealed that local health chiefs are still working through a "mountain" of data to see where the virus spreads

The city's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said at a press conference today that he wished ministers had "warned" of the outbreak "a long time ago" and revealed that local health chiefs are still working through a "mountain" of data to see where the virus spreads

In The Sun's clips, Sir Peter can be seen helping his partner with the maintenance of her house and climbing a ladder to fit her to a window.

In May, the Labor politician used his social media account to urge residents to "stay safe at home".

The police spoke to the mayor after the visits became known and gave advice on the restrictions in force.

When he spoke to BBC Radio Leicester last month, he apologized for the error in the judgment and admitted that it was a very bad example.

But he pointed out other "high profile people" who had disregarded the lock.

Sir Peter told the BBC: “I don't think anyone would say that anything in my behavior risks spreading the virus.

The data show how the Coronavirus outbreak in Leicester has increased over time. The UK figures only include first pillar swab tests which, according to official sources, are only given to patients with medical needs or key personnel

The data show how the Coronavirus outbreak in Leicester has increased over time. The UK figures only include first pillar swab tests which, according to official sources, are only given to patients with medical needs or key personnel

"It can certainly be interpreted as against the spirit of blocking, if not against the regulations."

He said he was "ready to apologize" as opposed to "some of the high-profile people who have a far greater impact on policy making than I do".

The officials said they would not take any further action against him because the allegations the mayor admitted were "historical".

Sir Peter said today that the new closure in the city "should have been done much earlier."

But angry residents of Leicester blamed "idiots" who violated the rules of social detachment for an explosion in coronavirus cases – when ministers warned people against being arrested if they put a new lock on them from today Pick up the city.

The measures for Leicester that Mr. Hancock announced in a dramatic statement to the Commons last night include:

  • All nonessential deals are closed as of today, and the law must be enforced to support the new restrictions after more than 800 cases have been registered in Leicester since mid-June and the area accounted for around 10 percent of all positive tests in the UK region last week;
  • The schools will be closed from Thursday and will not be opened again until the next semester, as there are fears that an unusually high incidence among children will drive the spread. They remain open to vulnerable children and descendants of key workers.
  • People are advised to avoid all travel to, from and within Leicester and to "stay at home as much as possible". However, there is currently no formal travel ban.
  • The loosening of the block in England on Saturday does not apply to Leicester, which means that pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas remain closed.
  • Unlike the rest of England, where the most clinically vulnerable can spend more time outdoors, city protection is not relaxed on July 6th.

The mayor said at a press conference today that tests in the city have increased in recent days and weeks when he welcomed the closure.

At the BBC breakfast, he said: “The Secretary of State (Matt Hancock) announced that he believed there was an outbreak in Leicester almost two weeks ago.

"Since then, we have tried to get information from them about what data they had, what led them to believe that there was a particular problem, and to try to get them to maintain the test level in Leicester."

He said he had been "trying for weeks" to access test-level data in the city and had access only last Thursday.

When asked if a local closure should have been initiated earlier, he said: “If the numbers indicate that there are problems in the city, I would have liked them to have told us about it from the start. and I wish they had made a quicker decision than leaving 11 days after the Foreign Minister's first announcement …

"It's a long gap and a long time for the virus to spread."

ROBERT HARDMAN: The anger and despair of the Leicester residents who were sent to Coventry

So much for all of those fancy new Post-Covid Council signs that have been set up all over town and say, "Nice to see you back in Leicester."

As of this week, they might as well add, "But I'm afraid you were sent to Coventry."

Poor Leicester woke up yesterday to find that it is the first place in Britain to rewind the clock to the dark days in April after a localized second wave of coronaviruses.

The city famous for locating a king in a parking lot (Richard III is now in great shape in Leicester Cathedral) has become famous again because it was the first to return to Lockdown – although I have to say that I could find absolutely no evidence of enforcement here yesterday.

This is not a mere "tip". Leicester is a famous multicultural city with only 0.6 percent of the population. Today it accounts for a whopping 10 percent of all cases of Covid-19 across the NHS England.

Therefore, every return to normality was postponed for at least a fortnight. While pubs, hotels and campsites are reopening this weekend in the rest of the country, Leicester has been instructed to go the other way. "Super Saturday" will be "Sober Saturday" in this part of the East Midlands, followed by "Sombre Sunday".

Poor Leicester woke up yesterday and found that it is the first place in the UK to rewind the clock to the dark days in April after a localized second wave of coronavirus, writes Robert Hardman (Image: Vicki Chapple about her market stall in Leicester).

Poor Leicester woke up yesterday and found that it is the first place in the UK to rewind the clock to the dark days in April after a localized second wave of coronavirus, writes Robert Hardman (Image: Vicki Chapple about her market stall in Leicester).

The city, which is famous for locating a king in a parking lot (Richard III is now in great shape in Leicester Cathedral), has become famous again because it was the first to return to the "lockout" .

The city, which is famous for locating a king in a parking lot (Richard III is now in great shape in Leicester Cathedral), has become famous again because it was the first to return to the "lockout" .

Schools have to close, along with non-essential businesses – many of which have just been reopened – and people are told to stay at home.

Pubs and restaurants that had prepared for the reopening are now reopening the shutters with tears.

Even worse is the fact that the residents are now branded as outcasts.

"We're like the leper in Leicester," sighs Tracy Jebbett, the local child protection officer, and calls BBC Radio Leicester to complain that her upcoming vacation in Cornwall has just been canceled.

The management of her campsite in St. Austell has just announced a ban on all bookings from Leicester and has told her that she cannot come.

There are now many stories on social media from boys and girls from Leicester who are planning to flee for one night on the tiles to neighboring Derby or Nottingham this weekend.

Anyone who is stupid or brave enough to leave town in a replica shirt from Leicester City or Leicester Tigers can count on exclusion – or worse.

Local authorities have announced that they will enforce restrictions, but nobody believes this for a moment. This is not Wuhan, and no one expects the proverbial "steel ring". But so far, Leicester doesn't even care about a Dettol ring.

It is of greater importance to the authorities why this particular city should suffer such an explosion of cases after a previously below-average infection rate.

However, the locals have many theories.

Pictured: Robert Hardman stands next to a sign that says "Nice to see you back in Leicester" while the city's closure is being extended

Pictured: Robert Hardman stands next to a sign that says "Nice to see you back in Leicester" while the city's closure is being extended

Pictured: The Leicester area, which has undergone an extended closure

Pictured: The Leicester area, which has undergone an extended closure

"Parts of the city are very crowded and some people have been careless because we sailed along the bottom of the infection league," said Manzoor Moghal, Muslim Forum think tank chairman, businessman and former chairman of race relations for the County Council committee.

“We have a lot of factories. Leicester is mostly Asian and many families have visited because they thought they were free of Covid. And now that has been found out. & # 39;

Despite widespread publicity about the virus’s disproportionate impact on ethnic minorities and the number of multi-generation households, Moghal says that the message has been lost to many.

“That should have made people take more precautions and older people, especially those with underlying problems, have done so. But the boys take a different stance. & # 39;

The talk of minorities is somewhat ambiguous. Leicester prides itself on being the UK's most diverse city. The 2011 census showed that the white population (50.6 percent) would soon be a minority, and subsequent surveys suggest that it is now.

However, some of the areas with the highest infection rates are areas of predominantly Asian origin in the east of the city.

"They just want to see the local park at night," says Amit Patel, 26, head of Milan Sweets in Evington, right next to the once powerful imperial typewriter factory. "There are 500 people there who watch or play cricket at night."

He recently reopened his delightful business and adjacent catering business, and has just brought all of his employees back from vacation. The business was originally back at 80 percent of sales before the pandemic, but has slumped since this week. "We cannot afford to turn it off again, especially if there is no government support."

So does he expect Leicester to watch the new lockout? & # 39; Some will. But others go straight to the pub in Market Harborough. «

Military personnel set up a mobile coronavirus test site in Victoria Park, Leicester this morning

Military personnel set up a mobile coronavirus test site in Victoria Park, Leicester this morning

A resident is walking down a street in the North Evington area of ​​Leicester today, amid the renewed blockade

A resident is walking down a street in the North Evington area of ​​Leicester today, amid the renewed blockade

All you have to do is walk away from main streets like East Park Road to see some of the places where, according to locals, new cases of the virus keep coming up. There are numerous small factories, many of them in the textile trade, that have recently started operating again.

In crowded workshops, the lights are on, the machines are grinding and the employees are working in a confined space without any signs of additional ventilation behind the odd open window. Meanwhile, the gutters outside are littered with empty nitrous oxide (or nitrous oxide) canisters, a sure sign of parties on the street.

"Indians like to sit together and share food," says Ali Siddiq, 56, and offers me a piece of naan bread while he is sitting on a bench in Spinney Hill Park. 'You have houses on Uppingham Road where shift workers are 12 years old. That's why this virus is here. But I leave everything to God. & # 39;

"Take to the streets in the morning and you'll see all these workers going to the factories," says retired council official Masoom Jeraj, 69, whom I meet with his wife Naznin at Spinney Hill Park.

The couple came here to receive a coronavirus test at the walk-in test center, led by a team from The Royal Anglians 2nd Battalion. Everyone seems pleased to see Sergeant Ashley Ward and his team, four of whom are native Leicester boys anyway.

"I don't see it as a task. It's just something that needs to be done, and we're happy to help, ”says Lance-Corporal Peter Arnold, 26, formerly from nearby London Road.

I am offered a nasopharynx swab test that is quick and painless and the result is promised in 24 hours. I was expecting a long queue here, but there are none at all.

After a while, the 44-year-old Kalpesh shows up with his mother and five-year-old daughter. Kalpesh has been unemployed for several days and has a headache. His doctor told him to see an optician – which he has already done – but now he has lost his sense of smell. His mother developed a cough.

I ask where he works. "Samworth Brothers," he says. Immediate alarm bells. The huge food factory has already confirmed cases in its production lines.

Kalpesh says he planned to go back to work in the morning. So is he going? "I will wait for the results," he says. I wish him the best of luck.

The center of Leicester is incredibly empty except for the market square. A limited number of stands sell fruit and vegetables in the same place where a young Gary Lineker worked on his father's stand.

One of Barry Lineker's former workers was Vicki Chapple, who has had her own booth for a long time. She remained open during the pandemic and sent a lot of fresh fruit to her sister, an intensive care nurse who was "very bad" with the virus.

"It really makes me sad because it makes this city look bad," she tells me. “We are a strong city and will jump back. But I don't like this idea of ​​separating the city. If you have a lock, it should be the whole county, otherwise it won't work. & # 39;

However, I find a lot of solidarity outside the city limits. The Bulls & # 39; s Head at Whetstone was supposed to reopen this weekend and could – but still won't.

"I booked a large order of beer this morning, but I just canceled it," says landlady Jane Irwin. “We were really looking forward to seeing our regular guests again.

"But we're just behind the red line, so some people might have been worried that other drinkers would cross the line. So we just have to wait. We have blocked three and a half months. What are two weeks left? & # 39;

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