August 05, 2020

Coronavirus: Belgium orders its residents not to travel to Leicester after spike in infections

July 11, 2020

Belgians have been ordered not to travel to Leicester as the city is under strict lockdown measures.

People have been told that "travel is not allowed" and "quarantine is mandatory upon your return" under advice from the Belgian foreign affairs department.

Leicester is among a number of "red zone" risky destinations in the country's travel advice which also include regions of Portugal and Spain.

The city was the first in England to face a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus infections.

Belgium's advice is based on "currently available information", according to a note on the government website.

Citizens will still be allowed to visit other areas of the EU, the Schengen zone and other parts of the UK.

Leicester went back into lockdown on 30 June, with people urged to "stay at home as much as they can", while travel in and out of the city is banned unless absolutely necessary.

The local lockdown means the city has not enjoyed the looser restrictions which have been in place for the rest of the UK since 4 July.

Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers have remained closed, and non-essential shops have had to shut again.

Leicester East's MP has warned the stricter measures are threatening businesses and jobs in the city while the rest of the country gets going.

Claudia Webbe wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking for "desperately needed financial support" and said residents had been left "anxious and confused".

Ms Webbe, a Labour MP, also claimed ministers were too slow to give Leicester City Council the data and information "essential to tackling the virus at a local level".

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More than 70 countries and territories are currently exempt from England's travel quarantine rules.

Those arriving in England from these countries - which include Belgium - will not need to quarantine for two weeks. They will have to provide an address where they will be staying.

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