The British government will offer support to authorities in Leicester, a city in the East Midlands, amid suggestions that it could become the first place in the UK to enter a local lockdown following a concentrated coronavirus flare-up.
Pressed by the BBC’s Andrew Marr on whether a “local lockdown” would be introduced in Leicester, Home Secretary Priti Patel said “that is correct.”
“There will be support going into Leicester…the Health Secretary has been in touch with many of us over the weekend explaining some of the measures,” Patel said Sunday.
“With local flare-ups, it is right that we have a localized solution in terms of infection control, social distancing and testing,” she added.
Britain is in the process of easing its lockdown restrictions, which have been in place since March.
Groups of up to six people can now meet outside in England. But on Friday Downing Street warned that if coronavirus case numbers increased, the government would put local lockdowns in place.
According to Patel, the government has developed a new mechanism to deal with local flare-ups, telling Marr that there have been a number of instances reported across the country over recent weeks.
“We have a new mechanism, a Joint Biosecurity Center, which is very much geared up. It has been developed to address local flare-ups,” she said.
In a tweet on Saturday, Leicester City Council warned that there has been a rise in positive coronavirus tests in the area, urging members of the public to continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“Until the number of cases in Leicester comes down, please be extra cautious and continue to keep 2 meters apart from people you don’t live with,” the local authority added.