LONDON | The british government announced on Monday that he was going to harden the containment in Leicester because of an outbreak of coronavirus in this city in the centre of England, the first to be subject to local restrictions.
Shops “non-essential”, which had re-opened mid-June in England after having had to lower the curtain at the end of march, will again have to close from Tuesday, and the schools as early as Thursday, said the Health minister, Matt Hancock, at the House of commons.
He said that these measures would be reassessed in two weeks.
“We need to control this virus. We need to keep people safe. These actions are also profoundly in the national interest,” he pointed out then that the déconfinement must know a major step Saturday in England with the reopening of pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers. “Local actions like these are an important tool in our arsenal to cope with epidemics while we put the country on foot”.
“We can not recommend a relaxation of the confinement on July 4, Leicester”, has he insisted, calling on the approximately 340 000 inhabitants of the city to stay with them “as much as possible”.
Nearly 3,000 cases have been registered in Leicester since the beginning of the epidemic in march, including 866 in the last two weeks, according to local authorities.
In announcing the gradual lifting of the confinement, the government had warned that it could put some restrictions in place at the local level, depending on the situation, to contain a new wave of uncontrolled contamination.
“The critical thing is to ensure that we are ready to act in case of local outbreaks”, said Monday the prime minister Boris Johnson on Times Radio.
The relief of the containment is a delicate time for the conservative leader, already much criticized over its management of the pandemic, who has made 43 575 deaths in the United Kingdom, the most affected country in Europe.
A thousand people are reported as positive each day, and some critics have said the fear of a return to normal dangerous.