How will the Leicester lockdown be enforced?

How will the Leicester lockdown happen? Credit: PA

Leicester has been told it is going back into lockdown, due to the high number of cases of Coronavirus - but how is it going to be enforced, and will people cooperate?

What's the legal situation?

Mr Hancock said the law will be changed in the next “day or two” to close all non-essential shops in Leicester.

  • The Police

Police chiefs in Leicestershire say they are "thinking about all options" after being asked if roadblocks could be imposed to enforce the lockdown in Leicester.

Chief Constable Simon Cole said he had "huge sympathy" with people living on streets that had been cut down the middle on the lockdown map but added "You've got to draw the line somewhere."

Mr Cole said the force hopes "common sense will prevail" and will only enforce the restrictions as a last resort.

Commenting on whether people might try to leave the city, Mr Cole said:

I think you'd have to be pretty daft if you needed a pint so much that you breached the lockdown. This is a serious public health risk. Do you want to bring that illness into contact with your mates or your family? Certainly I wouldn't want to do that.

We will be out there, we will be advising people, we will be speaking to people who feel they need to get out and about - but really we are at a point where this is essential travel only. If you need to travel for work, do it. If you need to travel for medicine or food, do it. But otherwise, let's stay at home and watch Leicester City on the telly.

Simon Cole, Chief Constable, Leicestershire
  • The Police Federation

The Head of Leicestershire Police Federation, Dave Stokes, has called for more clarity from the government, so his colleagues know what exactly their role is in policing the situation.

  • The Police and Crime Commissioner

Similarly, the Police and Crime Commissioner says,

We don't know what the police powers actually are. I think in the end those powers will be fairly modest and the police will work with them in a way that I think the public will find is the proper way of dealing with something like this. It's never easy, don't think it was easy with the original lockdown and this certainly won't be any easier but I'm confident.

Willy Bach, Leicestershire PCC

What are people being asked to do?

  • non-essential shops to close

  • schools will close from Thursday

  • restaurants, pubs, cafes, hairdressers and cinemas will not reopen on Saturday

  • avoid all but essential travel to, from, and within Leicester

  • stay at home as much as possible

Are people going to do as they're told?

The mood on the streets of Leicester is mixed.

Footage circulating on social media shows a cricket tournament being held in Leicester on Sunday afternoon, just yards from the police station on Spinney Hill Park - where there is also a Coronavirus testing centre.

Police tweeted today to say that they attended, moved people along, and are continuing to patrol the area.

Chief Constable Simon Cole said,

We were called. Officers turned up and told people to go home. I would say was not a very public-spirited thing to do to organise a cricket tournament during a previous phase of lockdown.

Simon Cole, Chief Constable, Leicestershire


Who does this apply to?

The area of Leicester which is in lockdown Credit: Leicester City Council

What measures are in place?

  • extra testing units

  • some schools have already closed

  • factories and workplaces with outbreaks have been visited

  • extra government money is being promised for Leicester and Leicestershire councils to get the message out and to support people self-isolating

  • a community radio station in the city has been translating public health messages for people living in the city


Eava Radio is run by volunteers and broadcasts in up to 20 languages.

The station manager Vijay Umrao says they have been working with other local stations to get key government messages out to business owners.


However the city's football team said its three remaining Premier League fixtures would not be affected by the lockdown.

Why is this happening?

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Leicester had seen 10% of all positive cases in England over the past week.

Leicester's seven-day infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 - three times that of the next highest city.

10%

of all cases over the last week were in Leicester

Here are the figures showing how the number of new cases in Leicester compares to local authority areas in the rest of the country, per 100,000 population, for the week ending June 21.

  • The figures are released by Public Health England

Top 10

Leicester 140.2

Bradford 69.4

Barnsley 54.7

Rochdale 53.6

Bedford 42.0

Oldham 38.6

Rotherham 33.6

Tameside 33.3

Blackburn with Darwen 32.9

Kirklees 30.3

Bottom 10

Lambeth 0.9<

Torbay 0.7<

Redcar & Cleveland 0.7<

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly 0.7<

Gloucestershire 0.6

Wokingham 0.6

South Gloucestershire 0.4

City of London 0.0

South Tyneside 0.0

West Berkshire 0.0

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