The change will take effect from 12:01 am Saturday and will affect over 180,000 people as the zone moves from Tier 1 to membership. Leicester and Oadby and Wigston in level 2 measures.
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This means that the following measures will be in place:
- People should not meet anyone outside their home or support the bubble in an indoor environment, either at home or in a public place;
- People should not gather in groups of more than 6 outdoors, including in a garden or other space; and
- People should aim to reduce the number of trips they take when possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid rush hours and public transport routes.
These measures will be reviewed every 14 days to determine if they are still appropriate.
The rate of COVID-19 infections is rising rapidly across the UK. The weekly case rate in England was 201 people per 100,000 from October 15 to October 21, compared to 100 people per 100,000 for the week of September 25 to October 1. Cases are not distributed evenly, with infection rates increasing faster in some areas than others.
Health and Social Affairs Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We continue to see a worrying increase in the number of cases across the country, and it is clear that decisive action is needed.
“We have agreed with local leaders to move more areas towards the high local Covid alert level this week.
“These restrictions are a challenge for all of us, but only by working together and following the rules will we reduce infection rates. Failure to act now will only lead to longer disruptions and greater economic damage. I want to thank everyone who plays their part in breaking the chains of transmission across the country. We are going to defeat this virus, but we must stand united as we move into the winter months.
It was agreed that all other areas currently at high level will remain at this level until the next review.
The government has changed borough restrictions after seven days the infection rate rose to 439.1 cases per 100,000 population – well above the national average – and higher than parts of Nottinghamshire, which is about to enter the highest level of restrictions.
Cases among Loughborough University students have played a role in the recent surge, but public health bosses say there is now a greater spread in the community affecting the entire borough.