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The Bishop of Leicester has said no weddings or funerals can take place in church buildings now the city has returned to lockdown.

The Rt Rev Martyn Snow said:

We are still trying to work out the full implications of this for our churches and awaiting further advice but we have to assume that for churches within the designated area we must return to the earlier stage of lockdown, where our church buildings are closed.

This includes all public worship, funerals, weddings, private prayer (including clergy on their own) and live-streaming of services – none of these activities should take place within a church building.

The Government has asked all of us living in this area to ‘stay at home’ and, however frustrating this is, we have a responsibility to others (in particular those who are most vulnerable).

We realise how hard this will be for many people, particularly wedding couples (who will need to postpone) and those who had planned funerals in church, which will now have to take place in a crematorium or at the graveside with minimal numbers.

This is very hard for the families concerned as well as our church leaders and volunteers who, like the cathedral which was due to open tomorrow, were in the midst of preparations for reopening.


London has 27,651 confirmed cases, according to Public Health England

Coronavirus cases in London: Latest figures for each borough

With more than 27,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the capital, Londoners have been warned that the city is “definitely” at risk from a second wave of infections.

Last month, an antibody surveillance study suggested 17 per cent of people in London had coronavirus antibodies.


Experts hope to have a less invasive coronavirus test that does not require a swab of the throat by the time schools in England fully reopen in September.


Nottinghamshire Police ‘do not anticipate rise of people from Leicester travelling to his area’

Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guilford said he did not anticipate a rise in people from Leicester travelling to his area after the city was put in a second lockdown.

He said in a statement:

Our approach will remain unchanged. We will be offering education and fines as a last resort.

There will be the odd person who does not want to be locked down and fancies a day out in Nottingham. We are not anticipating a rise of people from Leicester.

I think if it goes on there will be that potential but it is a short-term lockdown for Leicester but I do not anticipate that being an initial problem.

I think most people in Leicester will respect that and it has been put in place for a reason. If we get any intelligence from Leicester such as a minibus or coach travelling to Nottingham then we will act accordingly.

British Transport Police will be doing the same. You are still allowed to travel to get to work, but they will be looking for a breach of the guidance, such as going shopping or going on a night out.


Just in…

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 43,730 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Monday, up by 155 from 43,575 the day before.

The Government figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which are thought to have passed 54,000.

The DHSC also said in the 24-hour period up to 9am on Tuesday, 133,467 tests were carried out or dispatched, with 689 positive results. Overall, a total of 9,426,631 tests have been carried out and 312,654 cases have been confirmed positive.

The figure for the number of people tested has been “temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting” across all methods of testing.


Here’s the latest from Leicester:

Eerie footage shows empty Leicester streets as city put under lockdown

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.


Hundreds of jobs are likely to be cut at shirtmaker TM Lewin as it announced it will close all of its stores and switch sales online.

The menswear brand, famous for its office clothes, runs 66 shops.

Investor SCP Private Equity bought TM Lewin in May from private equity owner Bain Capital.

In a statement, Resolve, which has been hired to restructure the business, said: “This acquisition secured the future of the brand at a time of unprecedented uncertainty within the retail sector. After considerable review, and due to the many issues currently being experienced by high street retailers, it has been determined that the future of the TM Lewin brand will be online-only.”


On the proposed scrapping of the NHS surcharge for migrant health and care workers, Holly Lynch said “no progress as to how this will be delivered has been forthcoming” following the commitment made by Government over a month ago.

She said Labour’s amendment (NC14) would “make a start on enshrining this commitment in law”. Referring to her own conversations with affected doctors, the shadow immigration minister told the Commons: “Upon hearing their stories of what we make them go through in order to stay in this country and work in our NHS, I was genuinely embarrassed.”

She added: “If medical professionals had simply the NHS as a sponsor rather than individual trusts even this simple step would transform the visa system and fees for those working on the front line of healthcare provision.

“But on the health surcharge specifically we are seeking to put NC14 to a vote unless we are given a clear steer and assurances about how and when the changes will come into effect and how those who have had to pay this fee since the announcement was made will be reimbursed.”


Shadow immigration minister Holly Lynch said in the immediate term Labour had already called for no recourse to public funds (NRPF) to be suspended for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Labour’s amendment she said would “start to deliver on the spirit of the PM’s commitment”, adding: “The truth is that local authorities have already had instructions from the central Government to this effect… however, people are still facing destitution and a postcode lottery at the discretion of their local authority without a clear steer from the Home Office on this.”

She said the NC13 amendment “would prevent any extension of this condition to those who would lose their free movement rights for the course of the pandemic and would ensure that NRPF could not be reimposed without a proper parliamentary debate and a vote in both houses”.


The Nightingale hospitals will be turned into cancer testing centres, Matt Hancock confirms: 


Boris Johnson says he has spoken with Leicester’s mayor Sir Peter Soulsby:


Students will be able to sit the full set of their GCSE and A-level exams in the autumn if they wish to improve on their calculated coursework grades, Ofqual has said…


Just in: Public Health Wales said a further three people had died after testing positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of deaths to 1,510, while the total number of cases in Wales increased by 24 to 15,743.


Dozens of leading figures from London’s restaurants and clubs have written to Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan demanding urgent action to save the capital from remaining a “ghost town” for the rest of the year…


Leicester Mayor calls for more data from the Government on coronavirus testing

Speaking after a phone call with the Prime Minister, Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby told reporters: “I told him it would actually be enormously helpful to have, amongst the data that was collected as part of the testing process, the ethnicity of the people that were tested and where it is available, and where it is appropriate, their place of work.

“I think he took that point. Certainly in a city like Leicester, it’s important to know whether it’s particular neighbourhoods or communities being affected.

“Knowing the address is important, knowing the ethnicity is certainly something that may give you a clue as to how the spread has taken place, and if there is a place of work… those pieces of information help us to pinpoint where the issues might be.”

Asked if Boris Johnson had apologised to him over the nationally-run system that had “let Leicester down”, Sir Peter said: “I didn’t press him for anything of that sort.

“What I wanted to do was take the opportunity to make sure that the data we get is something that can be very useful at a local level.

“I made those very limited points and he seems to have taken them on board.”


Downing Street said there were no plans for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to hold a press conference on the Leicester lockdown following a demand from Labour.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “No current plans for that.”

The spokesman said Mr Hancock went to the Commons after the decision had been made and took questions then and during a media round, as had the PM at his speech.

“So I do think both nationally and locally steps have been taken to ensure that people have all the information they need,” the spokesman said.


Downing Street was unable to say whether Boris Johnson has met his pledge to complete all Covid-19 tests within 24 hours by the end of June.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We said that was something that we wanted to achieve by the end of the month and we’re talking to Department of Health and Social Care about how we can make that data available.

“We’ve been working to turn around those test results as quickly as possible but I don’t have those figures for you.”