News Coronavirus British city of Leicester back in lockdown after coronavirus spike
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British city of Leicester back in lockdown after coronavirus spike

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The British government has put the city of Leicester back in lockdown following an increase in coronavirus infections there.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in addition to schools being closed, shops in the city that did not sell essential goods, such as food and medicines, would have to shut their doors again, barely two weeks after reopening.

Concerns over the city, in England’s East Midlands, have mounted in recent days following a local outbreak.

Mr Hancock said the city accounted for 10 per cent of all positive cases in the country in the past week and hospital admissions were between six and 10 a day, also higher than in other places.

He said the government had to take “difficult but important decisions” for the benefit of Leicester’s population of about 350,000.

“I know that this is a worrying time for people living in Leicester and I want you to know that you have our full support,” Mr Hancock said.

“We do not take these decisions lightly.

“I want everyone in Leicester to know that we’ve taken every one of these decisions to protect them from this terrible virus,” he added.

He said the lockdown would be reviewed in two weeks.

Chinese authorities have imposed a lockdown on about 400,000 people in Anxin county, Hebei province, to combat another small outbreak.

Officials announced on Sunday that Anxin would be “fully enclosed and controlled”, with only essential workers allowed to leave their homes.

All residents have been ordered to stay indoors, apart from one person from each household who is allowed out each day to buy supplies.

Eleven of Anxin’s cases are linked to the June cluster of infections at a wholesale food market in Beijing, though officials say mass testing has largely brought that outbreak under control.

And German authorities have extended by a week a partial lockdown in a western district hit by a large coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse.

The measures were imposed on Guetersloh county, home to some 360,000 people, for an initial one-week period nearly a week ago.

Cinemas, gyms and bars were closed, but stores remained open. Restaurants have also been able to serve customers from the same household.

People from the district face restrictions on travelling elsewhere in Germany.

In Australia, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is considering reintroducing restrictions, including stay-at-home orders, in local hotspots as the state deals with a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

-ABC