Belgium tells Leicester arrivals to quarantine

Belgium tells Leicester arrivals to quarantine

Woman holds passport Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Belgium has singled Leicester out for stricter restrictions after the city was placed in a local lockdown

Leicester has joined a handful of European cities to be placed on the Belgian government's "red-zone" list.

It means anyone arriving in the country who has recently visited Leicester will be told to place themselves in a two-week mandatory quarantine.

It is the only UK city to be included in Belgium's list. The other cities are in Portugal or Spain.

Leicester was the site of England's first local lockdown on 29 June following a spike in coronavirus cases.

Sir Peter Soulsby, mayor of Leicester, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme earlier there was "no clear understanding of what will constitute the threshold that needs to be achieved before we can be released from [the local lockdown]".

He spoke out after the government announced the number of coronavirus cases in Leicester was going down.

Signs at Brussels airport

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons the seven-day infection rate had dropped from 135 to 117 cases per 100,000 people.

But when he was pressed on what level they had to reach to leave the lockdown, Mr Hancock would not commit to a specific number.

Signs are due to be erected around Brussels Airport telling arriving passengers to inform the authorities if they have been in Leicester during the lockdown.

The Belgian government has also told its own citizens to avoid travelling to the city if possible.

Image caption Sir Peter was speaking to the Radio 4 Today programme

Sir Peter has previously said the government should have shared its data sooner with Leicester City Council about where the cases were in order for the local authority to target affected areas and communities.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it prioritised giving detailed local data to public health bodies but was now sharing it with councils.

The DHSC spokesman added: "We continue to work closely with local authorities in Leicester to further curb the spread of the virus, so that these necessary restrictions can be removed as soon as possible."

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