Sunday 28 June 2020 11:56 am

Priti Patel confirms likely Leicester lockdown

Leicester could become the first city to be placed into a local coronavirus lockdown, home secretary Priti Patel has confirmed.

Patel said today that there had been a coronavirus flare up in a hospital and that “there will be support going into Leicester”.

Read more: UK coronavirus deaths jump by 186 to hit 43,414

Speaking to the BBC, she said: “The health secretary [Matt Hancock] was in touch with many of us over the weekend explaining some of the measures to support on testing and resources that will go into the local authorities as well.

“With local flare ups, it’s right we have a localised solution in terms of infection control, social distancing, testing and many of the tools that actually within the Public Health England space will come together to control the virus.”

The Sunday Times first reported that Leicester could be headed back into lockdown, with 658 new cases in the fortnight to 16 June.

The upsurge in cases reportedly comes after outbreaks in food production plants, as well as the hospital mentioned by Patel.

There have been seven outbreaks in food processing plants across the country.

Experts say the facilities’ cold conditions and manner of work provide ideal environment for the virus to grow.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last month, when he revealed the government’s “roadmap” to easing social distancing restrictions, that localised lockdowns could be implemented to combat coronavirus flare ups.

Patel said today that preventing a second wave of Covid-19 infections was the government’s priority.

Read more: Google reveals coronavirus support package for UK businesses

“We have to be very conscientious about the risk of a second wave,” she said.

“I think nothing would be more damaging for our country and our economy than if we have a second spike, a second wave, which is why we’re taking a very measured approach.”