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This eerie footage shows Leicester‘s deserted streets after people retreated indoors when the city was put under a localised location.
Matt Hancock announced on Monday that the current social-distancing measures would be extended in Leicester for at least two weeks while rules are relaxed in the rest of the UK.
The Heath Secretary said that the Covid-19 transmission rate was three times higher in Leicester than the next in a UK city.
It is the first place in the UK to face a local lockdown with non-essential shops being told to once again close, while schools will shut to most pupils from Thursday.
Footage taken on Tuesday show streets in the city empty with only a few cars on the road as the new measures kick in.
Meanwhile, local leaders have criticised the slow response from the Government and Public Health England (PHE) in sharing case and testing data in Leicester.
Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said he had been trying “for weeks” to access data on the level of testing in the city and was only given access last Thursday.
His comments come as it emerged the number of reported cases of coronavirus in Leicester are much higher than data published by the Government show.
According to the most recent data, published on Monday, there have been 1,056 cases in Leicester since the outbreak began.
But Leicester City Council said that the latest figures it has received show there have been 3,216 Covid-19 cases confirmed in the city since the start of the pandemic.
The difference is due to the DHSC data only reporting cases confirmed in NHS and PHE labs, while the council’s total contains positive test results carried out in testing centres.
While the DHSC publishes the complete testing data on a national level, it only publishes the partial data for individual local authorities.
The lockdown order will place fresh pressure on ailing businesses just as they hoped to get a boost from renewed footfall.
Employers who have been forced to close will be able to re-furlough their staff if they have used the scheme before, Downing Street said.
No 10 said on Tuesday that the scheme to prevent job losses could still be utilised by firms in the city and elsewhere that are affected by the return of strict measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “If employers have used the furlough scheme at any point between March 1 and June 30, which of course many will have, they can re-furlough those employees from July 1.
“If someone worked in non-essential retail and they have been able to go back to work and that non-essential retail now has to close again they will still be eligible to benefit from the furlough scheme.
“It applies nationwide but obviously it’s a particular circumstance to Leicester and those surrounding conurbations at the moment.”
Meanwhile, a Leicester barbershop owner has said he fears the local lockdown could see his customers go elsewhere.
Cameron Hallam, 39, owner of Cameron’s Cutz, said he had already put measures in place to make sure he was able to safely reopen on July 4.
He said “A couple of people have asked me to cut hair covertly but that is not something I am prepared to do.
“It’s only a certain zone of the city and it’s going to affect me because although I can’t open, other barbershops can open just the other side of that line. So even that is a concern.
“When I said I was going to open in July, all my appointments were fully booked, but now another two weeks – it’s going to be testing.”