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The mayor of Leicester has urged residents to “stick together” and stay at home as the city was put under a localised lockdown.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Our message is very clear: Stick together, stay strong, stay safe and, for the time being, stay home.”

The mayor told reporters that he was “very, very concerned” about the Covid-19 flare-up in the city.

But he added that he was glad the Health Secretary had introduced measures that went beyond just extending the current level of restrictions.

It comes after Matt Hancock announced that Leicester would be placed under its own lockdown and that additional support and funding would be provided to help it tackle the outbreak.

Sir Peter also told the news briefing: “We hope that with these new measures we can get on top of whatever is out there very quickly.

“We hope that it is something we will now be able to ensure is put behind us as a city,” he added.

“We are determined to use this opportunity to work effectively with the measures the Government has given and now I hope with the support that is going to be given to us.”

Sir Peter said he was grateful for the “more wide-ranging” measures and support from central Government than the local authorities had anticipated.

He said: “While it is a pain and a nuisance for us in the city to be subject to that level of restriction and to have the clock, as it were, turned back, it is nonetheless something that has some realistic prospect of being effective.”

Sir Peter also said earlier that leaders are still trying to learn more about where the virus is in the city: “We do need still to know more about where it is in the community.

“I’ve had lots of speculation and lots of questions about where it is in the community and we have not as yet been able to give satisfactory answers even to ourselves, no matter anybody else, about which parts of the community need the intervention.

“Which neighbourhoods, which communities, indeed which streets.”