ES News email

2020-06-29T20:17:52.713Z

Matt Hancock said the measures will be kept under review and will not be kept in place “any longer than is necessary”, adding: “We’ll review if we can release any of the measures in two weeks.

“These Leicester-specific measures will apply not just to the city of Leicester but also the surrounding conurbation including, for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.

“I know that this is a worrying time for people living in Leicester and I want you to know you have our full support.

“We do not take these decisions lightly but with the interests of the people of Leicester in our hearts,” the Health Secretary added.

2020-06-29T20:17:39.100Z

Matt Hancock has advised people from Leicester to stay at home as much as they can while the local lockdown measures continue.

Mr Hancock told MPs: “Having taken clinical advice on the actions necessary and discussed them with the local team in Leicester and Leicestershire, we have made some difficult but important decisions.

“We’ve decided that from tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close and as children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers as they did throughout.

“Unfortunately, the clinical advice is that the relaxation of shielding measures due on July 6 cannot now take place in Leicester.

“We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.

“We’ll monitor closely adhering to social distancing rules and we’ll take further steps if that is what’s necessary.”

2020-06-29T20:17:29.870Z

Mr Hancock said the easing of the lockdown planned for the rest of England on July 4 cannot happen in Leicester because of rising cases.

He said: “Given the growing outbreak in Leicester we cannot recommend that the easing of the national lockdown set to take place on July 4 happens in Leicester.”

2020-06-29T20:11:43.946Z

Read the full story here:

Leicester put under extended lockdown amid surge in virus cases

Leicester will be placed under a localised lockdown as the city battles a surge in coronavirus cases, Matt Hancock has confirmed. 

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, the Health Secretary said that non-essential shops will have to close from Tuesday to help contain the outbreak. 

Schools which have welcomed back pupils in Leicester after rules were eased will now have to shut from Thursday. 

2020-06-29T20:10:44.293Z

More on Leicester’s new measures:

Non-essential shops in Leicester will close from Tuesday.

Schools will close to most pupils from Thursday.

2020-06-29T20:09:02.530Z

Matt Hancock said local action has increasingly been taken by the Government in efforts to limit coronavirus infections.

He told the Commons:

We’ve been able carefully to ease the national restrictions. Alongside the easing of these national restrictions, we’ve increasingly taken local action.

In May, we shut Western Hospital (in Weston-super-Mare) to new admissions after a cluster of cases there. Earlier this month we closed two GP surgeries in Enfield and a meat processing factory in Kirklees.

2020-06-29T20:06:51.720Z

He said the measures will be reviewed in two weeks time.

2020-06-29T20:06:03.660Z

The relaxation of the shielding measures due on July 6 also cannot take place in Leicester – Hancock

2020-06-29T20:05:41.273Z

Non-essential shops and schools will have to close in the city, the Health Secretary says.

2020-06-29T20:05:26.770Z

BREAKING: 

Matt Hancock has announced that the Government cannot recommend easing lockdown measures in Leicester. 

2020-06-29T20:03:58.413Z

Mr Hancock said the rate of transmission in Leicester is three times higher than the next highest rate in a UK city. 

2020-06-29T20:03:04.103Z

The Health Secretary said that small clusters in settings like care homes or workplaces can be dealt with by the local Public Health official.

2020-06-29T20:02:19.403Z

Matt Hancock is speaking in the Commons about the outbreak in Leicester:

Sky News

2020-06-29T19:42:14.746Z

Scientists have developed a low-cost ventilator requiring minimal training which they believe could help save lives if there is a second wave of coronavirus.

New ventilator ‘could help save lives if coronavirus cases spike’

Researchers at Glasgow University began working on the design during the early stages of the UK virus outbreak in mid-March when ventilator demand was forecast to outstrip supply.

Fortunately, ventilator provision proved adequate but the team behind the new device believe it would prove invaluable if cases spike again.

2020-06-29T19:29:08.113Z

Housing minister Chris Pincher said local authorities will have the power to revoke licenses from hospitality premises if conditions are breached.

Mr Pincher told MPs: “This Bill is good news for our businesses, for jobs and for everyone looking forward to enjoying a safe summer as we bounce back from an incredibly difficult period.”

On restaurants and bars implementing outside seating, he added: “Recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for those, for example, with impaired vision and mobility will be clearly set out using the Department for Transport’s inclusive mobility guidelines, striking a balance between the effective use of space and maintaining traffic and thoroughfare.

“In addition, we will provide councils with enforcement powers and the ability to revoke licenses where conditions are breached.”

He added that the Bill also enables the police “to quickly alter the licensing conditions granted to premises if necessary”.

On more flexible construction hours and possible disruption for residents, Mr Pincher said: “I want to be clear that councils will retain local discretion over the decision-making process. They also have legal duties regarding statutory nuisance which continue and they know their areas best and that is why they will continue to have discretion in their local decision-making process.”

2020-06-29T18:58:25.100Z

The number of reported new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland has begun to increase in a “worrying” trend, the chief medical officer warned, which could halt plans for further easing of restrictions.

At least six fresh diagnoses were associated with international travel, the Government’s top health advisers said, as they reiterated warnings against encouraging overseas tourism too soon.

Some new clusters have been established, and one in the north west of the Republic involved travel links with Iraq, said Tony Holohan, the doctor leading the state’s pandemic response.

He said: “We are starting to see a worrying trend, with the number of reported cases increasing, and some new clusters.”

2020-06-29T18:12:34.900Z

Pints have been pulled again in pubs across Ireland as the country took another stride out of lockdown.

Bars that serve food were able to welcome back customers on Monday after phase three of the Government’s recovery plan came into force.

Hairdressers also reopened, and there were queues outside several salons and barbers first thing as people finally got the chance to get their lockdown locks cut.

Gyms, pools and cinemas are also allowed to open, while small congregations can attend church services again.

2020-06-29T17:46:40.813Z

Ed Miliband said the decisions the Government takes will determine how many jobs and businesses are lost during the coronavirus recovery.

He told MPs:

We face an unemployment emergency in this country and we should be under no illusions about this –  a million young people forecast to be out of work this year and we need scale of action which matches that.

And that is my point, that the measures we have supported from Government over the past few months have recognised the power of active government in a crisis like this. And my appeal to the Government is don’t shrink from that now because we are just at the beginning.

The Government has shown that it is willing to take action but we face the deepest and sharpest recession, possibly for hundreds of years, and the power of Government has got to be continued to be used.

And the decisions taken by Government in the coming weeks will determine how many jobs are lost and how many businesses survive.

We are calling for an extension to the furlough for specific sectors, an urgent job creation programme with a green recovery at its heart, and real action on infrastructure – not just words.

2020-06-29T17:27:52.990Z

More from Miliband:

Mr Miliband called on the Government to recognise that some sectors are more hindered by the public health measures than others and to acknowledge this with further financial support.

He told MPs:

We’re not asking the impossible of Government, but what we are saying is look at what other countries are doing – whether it is Spain or Italy or New Zealand or France or Germany – they are taking a sectoral approach to the furlough.

They are saying that there are specific sectors that are more affected by the public health measures and therefore the economic measures have to match that.

=I would urge the Business Secretary, because he knows, he talks to the same people that I do, to use all the powers of his office to make representations to the Chancellor to find a way of fixing this, a sector-specific approach to the furlough including an extension beyond October.

From hospitality to leisure to manufacturing, and this is the big point, this is a general recession but it is also much more acute in specific sectors and I believe the Government needs to recognise this far more in their response.