Leicester lockdown: New laws come into force

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Police officer in LeicesterImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
People seen repeatedly breaking the Leicester lockdown could be fined up to £3,200

Legislation ensuring Leicester's local lockdown can be enforced by law has been rushed through Parliament.

The new regulations come into force on Saturday, as the rest of the country begins to see an easing of lockdown.

People or businesses that repeatedly flout the new law could receive fines of up to £3,200.

Limits on social gatherings and a ban on the reopening of hotels, pubs and restaurants are all included in the new legislation.

Leicester became subject to the UK's first local lockdown on Monday following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Police have said they are bracing themselves for a busy weekend as pubs stay closed in Leicester but reopen across the country, with more officers on duty than during a typical New Year's Eve.

Officers would be policing the stricter lockdown measures as well as overseeing the relaxation of rules outside of the restricted zone.

Hospital bosses in the city also said they were preparing for "typical behaviours of New Year's Eve".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
People in Leicester have been told to stay at home since Monday

The regulations for the city were passed as a new statutory instrument easing lockdown for the rest of the country came into force on Friday.

People in Leicester who live on their own, or single parents, can still form a social bubble with one other household, the legislation says.

Public gatherings of more than six people are now banned and there are restrictions on meeting people indoors.

Fixed penalty notices can be issued to people who are seen breaking the lockdown rules.

Fines begin at £100, and increase on a sliding scale so a person found breaking the lockdown for a sixth time could be fined £3,200.

The same fines could be issued by police across England before the easing of lockdown.

Image source, Alamy

Leicestershire Police said: "We will be directing people to follow the regulations and encouraging to them to follow the guidelines.

"We want people to stay at home in the protected area and if you are outside of this to be responsible and socialise safely."

Leicester City Council confirmed it had been informed of the legislation "shortly before its publication".

The regulations are due to be reviewed from 18 July.

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