"we have made some difficult but important decisions."
As of June 30, 2020, Leicester will become the first place where a local lockdown has been enforced.
This comes after the city experienced a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The city has a high BAME population and scientific studies found that this group of people are at a significantly higher risk of dying than white people.
Approximately 14% of people in Leicester are of Asian ethnicity which is more than triple than the less than five per cent in England as a whole.
The ethnicity of Leicester’s residents may also play into the risk of the Coronavirus spreading fast, 37% of people in the city were Asian or British Asian in the 2011 Census, with 28% of them of Indian heritage.
One researcher stated that multi-generational households were “part and parcel” of Asian culture and that grandparents often live with their younger relatives.
This leads to larger households which increases the risk of more people catching the virus from one infected member of the family.
Labour city councillor Ratilal Govind said that he thought there had been a lack of communication about Covid-19 with people who do not speak English as a first language in the city.
However, the reason for the increased cases may be due to the number of tests being carried out. The figures also include those who have previously had the virus.
Leicester City Council said: “The latest figures obtained by the city council show that 3,216 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Leicester since the start of the epidemic.
“Of these, 944 cases were reported in the last two weeks.”
This is about one in 16 of the total UK cases during that period.
As a result of the local lockdown, non-essential shops have been forced to close again. Schools will also be closed to all pupils except the children of key workers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the decision was made because the number of new cases was three times higher in Leicester than the next nearest city.
The lockdown will affect the whole city and some of the areas just outside its borders.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby already argued unsuccessfully that a return to stringent lockdown was not justified.
Mr Hancock advised citizens from Leicester to stay at home as much as they can while local lockdown measures continued.
He said: “Having taken clinical advice on the actions necessary and discussed them with the local team in Leicester and Leicestershire, we have made some difficult but important decisions.
“We’ve decided that from tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close and as children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers as they did throughout.
“Unfortunately, the clinical advice is that the relaxation of shielding measures due on July 6 cannot now take place in Leicester.
“We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.
“We’ll monitor closely adhering to social distancing rules and we’ll take further steps if that is what’s necessary.”
Mr Hancock said the measures will be kept under review and will not be kept in place “any longer than is necessary”.
He added: “We’ll review if we can release any of the measures in two weeks.
“These Leicester-specific measures will apply not just to the city of Leicester but also the surrounding conurbation including, for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.
“I know that this is a worrying time for people living in Leicester and I want you to know you have our full support.”
Ivan Browne, director of public health at Leicester City Council said:
“Although the overall numbers are relatively small, we are concerned that the number of cases of Covid-19 in Leicester is increasing.
“Leicester has high levels of health conditions such as diabetes, pockets of deprivation, and a very significant Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic population and we know that these factors combine to create a high-risk, more vulnerable, population that’s more susceptible to coronavirus.
“That’s why it’s so important that people in Leicester stay at home as much as possible and continue to do what we’ve all been doing for the last few months and that’s washing our hands regularly throughout the day and keeping two metres away from anyone we don’t live with.”