Leicester’s lockdown zone ‘non-essential’ stores may open on Friday – so who can visit them

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The easing of some lockdown restrictions in Leicester, Oadby and Wigston will mean non-essential retail will be able to open from Friday.But it’s still unclear who will actually be able to visit them – advice to travel only for essential reasons remains in effect in the lockdown zone.

When the local lockdown was implemented, downtown stores were ordered to close by the government as part of strict measures taken to try to reduce the number of new cases in the city.

Since then, all non-essential stores in the city have been closed and footfall in the city center has fallen by 55%.

But confusion followed the government’s announcement that Leicester, Oadby and Wigston would remain stranded but non-essential retail would be able to reopen.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said when announcing the extended lockdown decision: “Starting July 24, we will remove restrictions on schools and child care and take an approach. more targeted restrictions on non-essential businesses – replacing the national decision to close non-essential retail with a local power to shut them down if necessary.

“It’s all part of our more focused approach.

“However, other restrictions, such as those relating to travel and holding social gatherings of up to 6 people, for example, will remain in place. ”

Readers have contacted LeicestershireLive and asked for the position to be clarified, as existing travel restrictions which mean that travel to, from and within Leicester must be for essential reasons only, will remain in place. in effect until August 1.

LeicestershireLive asked the Department of Health and Welfare to clear up any confusion and specifically asked the department: “If stores reopen on July 24 – who would actually be allowed to go?”

A spokesperson for the department responded and said: ‘It remains to stay at home as much as possible, to help further bring down the high infection rates in Leicester.

“As the situation has improved, some non-essential retailers are allowed to choose to open their doors, subject to targeted action and secure guidance from Covid.

“Our advice means that people shouldn’t travel just for non-essential purchases. “

The guidelines suggest that shopping in town for non-essential items is not allowed, but if someone is in the city center because of essential travel there, they would be allowed into non-essential retailers. essential.

LeicestershireLive returned to DHSC and again asked for clarification.

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