- The city of Leicester in England may be returning for closure after an increase in coronavirus cases in the past two weeks.
- The affected area features many compact terraces with old industrial buildings and places of worship where prolonged exposure to the interior may be responsible for the spread of the virus.
- The news comes as pubs, cafes, and restaurants prepare to reopen on July 4 for the first time since closing began in March.
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The government is considering reimposing a blockade in Leicester, England, after an increase in coronavirus cases, a minister confirmed.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is reviewing the coronavirus legislation necessary to impose a local blockade after 658 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city in the two weeks to June 16, according to a Sunday Times report.
The figures mean that about 25% of all confirmed Leicester cases had been reported in the past two weeks, the BBC reported.
Priti Patel, the home secretary, confirmed that the report was correct on Sunday. When asked if the city could ever be closed again, she said, “That is correct.”
“We have already seen outbreaks across the country, only in the last three to four weeks in particular. There will be support in Leicester,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr program.
Patel did not elaborate on what could trigger a local blockade or how it could be enforced.
Leicester Mayor Peter Soulsby said “there was no immediate prospect” of a shutdown.
Matt Hancock first announced what he called a coronavirus “outbreak” in Leicester, a small town in central England, last week.
Ivan Browne, Leicester’s director of public health, told the local newspaper Leicester Mercury: “The numbers suggest that the cases are of people of working age who are engaged in their normal affairs.”
“It seems to spread throughout the community, there is no place like a factory, for example, that we can trace it to.
“We really are not seeing children or younger people in the data.”
The BBC reported that many of the cases are located in North Evington, an area of Leicester.
The district reportedly has many compact terraces with old industrial buildings and places of worship where prolonged exposure to the interior may be responsible for the spread of the virus more quickly than elsewhere.
The news comes as pubs, cafes, and restaurants prepare to reopen for the first time since the closure began in March.
Boris Johnson confirmed that they could open from July 4.