Coronavirus testing data was due to be discussed at a Monday morning meeting between Leicester’s mayor and Government officials amid suggestions a local lockdown could be imposed on the city but the meeting has been cancelled. Sir Peter Soulsby explained there is little substance in the report which suggests Leicester should go into lockdown. It comes as restrictions are being eased elsewhere in the UK, with parks and shops with outdoor entrances able to reopen in Scotland, and schools in Wales welcoming more pupils.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Sir Peter said: “I’m very angry and very frustrated this morning because the 9am meeting has been cancelled by the government officials who were due to meet with us.
“What I’ve had instead – arriving at four minutes past one in my inbox – is a copy of their actual recommendations for Leicester.
“It’s been briefed very dramatically this weekend as ‘local lockdown in Leicester’.
“Actually, what they are apparently considering according to this report is to extend for two weeks the present level of restrictions, which are lifted on 4th July in the rest of the country.
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“But even that is not justified by any of the figures that they’ve let us have.
“There’s been incredible frustration in getting figures out of them.
“They dumped the first load on us last Thursday after weeks of asking and at four minutes past one this morning, I finally found out what they really are considering for Leicester.
“And when looking at the report, I realise there is very little substance in it.”
She added: “There will be support going into Leicester and in fact the Health Secretary was in touch with many of us over the weekend explaining some of the measures, the support on testing, resources that will go into the local authority as well.”
Sir Peter later insisted more testing data was needed before deciding whether to implement a local lockdown in Leicester.
He argued the information was “key to determining what intervention is needed” to respond to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
“If it is decided that a local lockdown is needed the city council currently has no powers to implement this, and there would need to be extensive discussion around the area to be locked down, including whether this extends beyond the city boundaries,” he added.