Local lockdown ordered in English city of Leicester over high COVID infection rate

LONDON (Reuters) – The English city of Leicester must go back into a stricter lockdown because its COVID-19 infection rate was much higher than anywhere else in the country, health minister Matt Hancock told parliament on Monday.

As the rest of the United Kingdom gears up for an easing of social distancing measures on July 4, Hancock said schools and non-essential shops would have to close in Leicester, and urged people not to travel to, from or within the city.

“We do not take these decisions lightly, but with the interests of the people of Leicester in our hearts,” Hancock said.

He said Leicester accounted for around 10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week, and that the seven-day infection rate there was 135 cases per 100,000 people, three times higher than the next highest city.

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