The Department for Health has this afternoon confirmed it has deployed four mobile testing sites in Leicester and has dispatched thousands of home testing kits to residents to prevent an outbreak. A spokesman for the Department for Health said: “We urge the people of Leicester to continue to practice social distancing, wash their hands regularly, get tested immediately if they have symptoms and follow the advice their receive if contacted by NHS Test and Trace.”
The move comes after the Sunday Times reported that the Government was preparing to put the Midlands city into lockdown “within days” after a surge in coronavirus cases.
Fears of a second spike in the virus emerged after it was revealed 658 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Leicester in the two weeks to June 16.
It is understood the increase in positive cases had been triggered by an outbreak in food production plants in the area.
Earlier this morning Home Secretary Priti Patel told BBC’s Andrew Marr that Leicester was one of the cities in England which would be seeing new restrictions put in place.
When asked about new measures being enforced in Leicester, Ms Patel said: “Well, that is correct.
“We have seen flare-ups across the country in recent weeks, in just the last three or four weeks in particular.”
Ms Patel confirmed Health Secretary Matt Hancock had been working on the support going into Leicester over the weekend.
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.
“With local flare-ups it is right we have a localised solution in terms of infection control, social distancing, testing and many of the tools actually within the Public Health England space which will come together to control the virus, to stop the spread so obviously we can get on top of the infection.”
This is a developing news story, more to follow.