Leicester lockdown easing! Like most of you, I have been following the news avidly over the last 24 hours, trying to understand the easing of #LeicesterLockdown. Obviously it would have been much too difficult to create a set of guidelines and then announce them. There was a Twitter storm last night as Leicester’s MPs got off the phone with the Minister and announced what they know. As of the time of writing (7.20am 31/07), guidance has been issued for the areas of the North West which are under new restrictions, but the Leicester guidance has not been updated since 28th July.
Current edits at the bottom of the page
Here is my understanding of the easing of the Leicester lockdown. I have no “insider information”, this is based on the Department of Health and Social Care guidance – e.g. here, the press releases on gov.uk, and tweets from Leicester’s 3 Labour MPs and the Conservative Harborough, Oadby and Wigston MP – the latter here. Don’t take this as gospel, I am just trying to collate all of the Leicester information in one place.
With Immediate Effect
Oadby and Wigston is under no additional restriction any more. Follow the main gov.uk guidance for the UK at large.
The city of Leicester (if you pay Council Tax to Leicester City Council) is under less restriction than before.
- Effective as of midnight last night we have the same rules as the newly restricted North West areas. This means that your household (people you live with) cannot mix with other households. People cannot visit your house or private garden, you cannot visit theirs even outside the zone. You cannot socialise with people outside of your household at a pub, place of worship, restaurant etc. (I guess that means no pulling tables together)
- Non-essential travel is permitted. We can go on holiday! But only with our immediate household. You can travel in or out of the zone for pretty much any reason. You can stay overnight elsewhere, just not at a private residence.
- You can share a car with people outside of your household if you need to but “you should try not to” and practice distancing where possible/wear face coverings etc.
- Places of worship may open but practice min. 2 metres social distancing.
- The guidance for 2 households meeting up in a public outdoor space like a park still applies. So up to 6 socially distanced people from 2 households can go and hang out for a picnic at Bradgate Park from today.
From Monday 3rd August
All of the restrictions that eased in the rest of the country on 4th July will ease in Leicester from Monday 3rd August. I take this to mean:
- Pubs, restaurants, cafes – hospitality – can re open.
- Outdoor parks, gyms, playgrounds can re open.
- Art galleries, museums, cinemas and attractions can re open.
- Hairdressers can re open.
- This therefore means that indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios, night clubs, soft play areas, nail and beauty salons will NOT re open.
So as of today you can go on holiday outside of Leicester and visit a socially distanced restaurant, but you won’t be able to go to a restaurant in Leicester until Monday. And even though there could be other people in the restaurant that’s OK, but no one from outside your house can come and be 2m away from you in your garden. And all the Conservative controlled areas in our county no longer have any restrictions at all. Clear as mud.
If I add any edits, I’ll make it clear below that it is an update!
Edit 8am – I forgot to put that of course this means city restaurants can participate in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme from Monday the same as all others across the country.
Edit 10am – the Leicester guidance has been updated. Despite what Neil O’Brien tweeted earlier the guidance is very clear that Oadby & Wigston are not now released until Monday. The guidance for Leicester reads:
- non-essential shops can now reopen
- schools and educational settings can now reopen
- from the 3 August the following can reopen (in line with the national changes of 4 July):Restaurants, Cafes and Workplace Canteens
- Bars and Pubs
- Hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
- Places of Worship
- Community Centres
- Social clubs
- Cinemas and Bingo Halls
- Theatres and Concert halls
- Museums and galleries
- Hair salons and barbers
- Outdoor playgrounds and gyms
- Funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks and activities
- Amusement arcades
- Other indoor leisure centres or facilities, including indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues
- Model villages
- Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres
- leisure centres, gyms and pools must remain closed
- single-adult households (those who live alone or with dependent children only) can still form a support bubble with one other household
- people from different households are still able to meet in a group of up to 6 and only outdoors, provided they follow strict social distancing
- people should not meet in private homes or gardens (this includes people who live within the area travelling to visit someone who lives outside Leicester)
Edit 10.20am: There seems to be confusion now about whether you can travel. The guidance seems to recommend staying at home where you can, but Jon Ashworth’s update last night was clear that he had sought clarity and holidays are OK. So vote with your conscience at the moment it seems.
Edit 10.24am: Jon Ashworth has kindly confirmed he is asking for further clarity on holidays in this reply to my tweet.
Edit: 4pm: The Leicester City Council email confirms non-essential travel out of the lockdown zone is permitted.