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Coronavirus in Leicester (ALPHA Test site)

Get the latest information and advice

Common questions on Leicester lockdown

Find answers to common questions about the local restrictions, including meeting other people, support bubbles, social distancing and travel.

The local restrictions apply to the whole city of Leicester.

The numbers of coronavirus cases are rising across the country, including in Leicester. We are now seeing increasing numbers of cases in young people aged 19-30 and the infections are more spread out across the city. We update the latest figures on the following link every week.

You need to stay at home and self-isolate while you are waiting for your test.

We know that there are delays nationally in people being able to get tests. This is down to increased demand and a lack of capacity in laboratories, which are managed by central government. It is a frustrating situation and unfortunately not something that the council has any control over.

Please see other common questions about testing.

Yes - you can make non-essential journeys and travel in and out of the city. You are not able to visit people at their homes either indoors or in private gardens – even if they live outside Leicester – unless you have formed a support bubble with them. You can go on holiday with people you already live with, or with someone you have formed a support bubble with. You cannot stay in another person’s home while they are there. Find out more about support bubbles at GOV.UK.

You are permitted to stay in hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday homes, campsites and caravan parks.

The advice in Leicester remains to:

  • Limit your contact with other people.
  • Stay 2m apart from anyone you do not live with.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Work from home if you can.
  • Wear a face covering on buses, in shops and in public spaces where distancing is not always possible.
  • Don’t meet up with people in their homes or in any indoor space, or in private gardens.
  • Book a test and self-isolate as soon as you get symptoms.
  • If you test positive, continue to stay at home for at least 10 days and until you feel better. Members of your household should stay at home for 14 days.

In Leicester you cannot meet anyone you don’t live with in a house or a private garden. You can only meet friends or family in a public outdoor space, such as a park, outdoor café or a pub garden.

If you do meet people you don’t live with, keep 2m apart.

Under the government’s national “rule of six”, you cannot meet up in groups of more than six people. In England this includes children, babies and people you live with. So if you are a family of four living together, you can meet two other people – and only in a public outdoor space, not in a private garden. If you break the rule of six you could be fined.

You can still form a support bubble with one other household if you live alone or are a single adult with dependent children – in other words, if you are in a household where there is only one adult. All those in a support bubble can act as if they live in the same household – you can spend time together inside each other’s homes and do not need to stay 2 metres apart. You can only form support bubbles with one other household – you should not switch the household you are in a bubble with or connect with multiple households.

Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can pass it on. It isn’t just older people who are at risk, or people with other health conditions. Young, healthy people can experience serious illness or even die from coronavirus.

If you meet more than five other people socially you are breaking the law and you could be fined £100. This can be increased for repeat offences up to £3,200. Organisers and facilitators of larger gatherings of more than 30 people – parties or unlicensed music events – can be fined up to £10,000, as happened to a student in Nottingham recently.

We all need to pull together and follow the rules to help keep the local rate of infection down. If this rises, we could see stricter rules reintroduced.

You must wear a face covering on public transport and in hospitals, shops, banks/building societies, post offices and cafes and take-away food places. We are also asking you to wear a face covering when dropping off or collecting children at school.

See detailed guidance on our face covering page.

Try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to do this, try to:

  • share the transport with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of up to 6 people at any one time (this limit of 6 people will apply and have legal force from 14 September 2020)
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products - make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

If you – or someone you know – needs help with food, medicine or other essential supplies, email us at:

NHS Volunteer Responders
The NHS Volunteer Responders can help:

  • People who choose to continue to stay at home, or choose to avoid busier public spaces such as supermarkets and pharmacies. 
  • People with caring responsibilities.
  • People who are self-isolating because they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms.
  • People who’ve been instructed to self-isolate by the ‘Test and Trace’ service, because they’ve been near someone infected.
  • People who are self-isolating ahead of planned hospital care.
  • Frontline health and care workers.

To request support with any of the above, you can call: 0808 196 3646 (8am - 8pm).

Those currently shielding in Leicester should continue to shield until at least 23 September.

The guidance for people who are currently shielding means:

  • you are still advised to stay at home as much as possible
  • you may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • you do not need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
  • if you are a single adult household (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18), you may, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble can spend time together inside each other's homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance.
More detailed advice can be found on our shielding advice

Most businesses are now permitted to open in Leicester. Government grants that were available to support businesses during the earlier lockdown have now closed and we will be making final payments as soon as possible. Other grants are available – see full information on business grants.

Communal worship, including prayers, religious ceremonies, devotions or meditations led by a Minister of Religion or lay person can take place.

Limits are decided on the basis of the capacity of the place of worship following a risk assessment. Social distancing should be strictly adhered to, 2m or 1m (where 2m is not possible) with actions taken to reduce the risk of transmission between households. For example, the use of face coverings.

Full guidance can be found at GOV.UK.

All school year groups returned to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. We understand that some parents may have concerns about their children returning to school. You can find all the latest information on our returning to school for the autumn term page.

We are working with both city universities to help them prepare to welcome students back safely for the start of the new academic year in September. Please see their websites for more information.

Follow the advice your school has given you. If your child is sent home without symptoms they still have to isolate at home for 14 days. The rest of your household does not have to stay at home, unless someone develops symptoms. Find out further information if your child's class or group has been asked to isolate.

The council is opening its buildings and services gradually, in line with government safety guidance. Please see our dedicated pages for libraries and leisure centres, as well as the general coronavirus service updates page.