Leicester gets the go-ahead despite coronavirus lockdown in city

Tue 30 Jun 2020

This evening’s meeting at Leicester will go ahead as planned following consultation between local health authorities and the British Horseracing Authority.

The fixture had been put in doubt as the city has recently been placed back under lockdown measures.

Due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in the area, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Monday evening that all non-essential businesses would have to close again, with schools also closing from Thursday.

The planned nationwide lifting of restrictions from July 4 will have to stay in place in Leicester until July 18 at the earliest.

The city has seen almost 1,000 new cases in the previous fortnight.

However, the BHA tweeted: “Following confirmation from local health authorities that the race meeting should go ahead, the fixture at @LeicesterRaces will take place today. The fixture will be held behind closed doors and with the existing strict health screening and social distancing measures in place.”

Earlier Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “It’s so important that we get a grip on this spike that has happened in Leicester. We will be closing the shops by law and will be changing the law in the next day or two to do that.”

He also advised that people should not travel “in, out or within Leicester” unless it was essential, but that would not be enforced by law as yet.

The first of nine races is scheduled for 4.40pm.

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