Posted: Tue 30th Jun 2020
A new outbreak of coronavirus in Leicester has led to an extension of the lockdown and the closure of 3,913 non-essential retailers.
Speaking in Parliament, health secretary Matt Hancock said the seven-day infection rate in Leicester has risen to 135 cases per 100,000 people which is "three times higher than the next highest city". In addition, between six and 10 people a day are being admitted to hospital compared to around one a day at other trusts.
As a result, the city and some surrounding areas have been returned to lockdown measures including non-essential retailers and other companies having to shut or not open as planned on 4 July. School must close on Thursday although vulnerable children and the children of key workers can still attend.
People in Leicester are being advised to stay at home if they can, to maintain two metre social distancing, ensure good hand hygiene and to strictly limit their contact with others from outside their own household. Only essential travel is recommended.
— Leicester City Council (@Leicester_News) June 30, 2020
Property adviser Altus Group analysed the businesses in the Leicester lockdown area and found the following are affected:
3,913 non-essential retailers
14 wine bars
5 museums and galleries
One of the businesses that shut up shop this morning is 75-year-old Withers Sports. "It's heartbreaking," owner Steve Brett told the Independent. "Three months ago you go through all the emotions, the anxiety, the stresses, the concerns. You think, are you going to come through this? And now we're back to this.
"It's horrendous. We're online as well so it's not been too bad. But I feel for the restaurants, cafes, pubs."
Many founders have called for extra support to help them cope with the impact of a longer lockdown.
Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: "Businesses now need additional support above and beyond what has already been made available to avoid the emergence of a two-tier recovery which leaves Leicester - and any other areas where similar restrictions might be applied in future - lagging.
"This support must be immediate, targeted and delivered in the form of grants so as not to add to already burgeoning debt levels. Where businesses have incurred cost in readying themselves for reopening, they should be compensated."
The government said businesses in Leicester that used the Job Retention Scheme between 1 March and 30 June to furlough staff and claim a grant to cover 80% of wages can do so again from 1 July.
With my shop having to close I am opening up all my DM's on all social media channels to help anybody get int touch who may be looking for design or printing services!
Anybody looking for logo designs or anything else creative please get in touch 😘 #leicesterlockdown pic.twitter.com/PgZ2ylrvdH
— James West (@west3james16) June 30, 2020