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Live Reporting

Rob England and Jay Vydelingum

All times stated are UK

  1. Hairdresser fears 'hell' of rearranging appointments

    BBC Radio Leicester

    A hair salon owner in Leicester says he's "devastated" at a potential lengthening of restrictions in the city.

    Blake Edwards says for the past week he's been celebrating being able to return to work this weekend.

    Blake Edwards

    He says he wants to "crack on".

    "We were ready a long time ago and we just want to get on with it and get the economy back on the road," he adds.

    "We're so busy - to rearrange all those clients is going to be hell."

  2. Leicester officials and government to meet later

    Gavin Bevis

    BBC News

    Leicester - general view

    Leicester's Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said it was unclear whether the government had the power to impose a local extension to current restrictions if the city council didn't feel it was necessary.

    "I would hope they wouldn't do that without discussing it properly with us and getting us to agree it," he said.

    He said as it stood, the government had not done enough to convince him the measure was needed.

    "At the minute they haven't provided any evidence to show it's necessary," he said.

    A meeting between council officials and representatives from the government was due to take place this morning but has been pushed back to later in the day.

  3. The foods we are all eating during lockdown

    Rob England

    BBC News


    With most of us stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, our eating habits have had to change. Meals out have been impossible, and we've all been having to eat from home.

    So what have we been eating and which firms have been benefitting?

    Fair warning, this story may make you feel hungry if you're nearing your lunch break.

  4. Restaurant owner 'nervous' about possible restrictions

    Neil Heath

    BBC News Online

    A restaurant owner in Leicester has said he's "very nervous" at the possibility of not being able to reopen should coronavirus restrictions be extended.

    Sohail Ali, co-owner of Chaiiwala cafes, says he has more than 100 staff working for him in the city and the spike in Covid-19 cases has made everyone fearful.

    "I feel very nervous, unsure what is going to happen," he told BBC Radio Leicester.

    "Everyone has got bills to pay, mouths to feed, so we need to make sure that we can get our businesses back open."

    Managers of Chaiiwala
  5. How can family and friends visit me safely?

    With social distancing guidance in England changing to "one metre plus" from 4 July, how can you invite friends and family into your home safely?

    people at a table

    Member of two households of any size can meet each other - either inside or outside - from Saturday 4 July in England.

    You can meet different households at different times - and overnight stays are allowed - but no more than two households should meet at any one time.

    And, you're still not allowed to hug people from outside of your own household.

  6. Leicester lockdown would 'destabilise' businesses further

    Amy Woodfield

    BBC News

    Extending the lockdown in Leicester will "destabilise" retailers that were preparing to reopen, the Leicestershire Federation of Small Businesses has said.

    Michael Weedon, from the federation, said retailers were feeling "relief, excitement and a bit of trepidation" about opening for the first time with new safety procedures in place.


    He said: "We're managing two crises here at once - one is a health crisis and one is an economic crisis.

    "Retailers' income has completely disappeared. Although we've seen a bump in high street footfall, it's only at 50% of what it was this time last year.

    "That's partly because towns are coming awake bit-by-bit. Normally you might have five reasons to go into the middle of Leicester, if some of those places - restaurants and barbers for example - are shut, you've got fewer reason and fewer people will go."

  7. PM promises 'whack-a-mole' strategy for local spikes

    boris johnson

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the government is "concerned about Leicester", where there has been a surge in coronavirus cases.

    On a visit to a construction site in west London, the prime minister said: "We are concerned about Leicester, we are concerned about any local outbreak.

    "I want to stress to people that we are not out of the woods yet."

    He said the local "whack-a-mole" strategy for managing coronavirus had worked in Weston-super-Mare and where there had been outbreaks around GP surgeries in London.

    "That's the same approach that we will bring to bear in Leicester as well."

  8. What could a 'lockdown extension' look like?

    Rob Sissons

    East Midlands Today Reporter

    It's the government's strategy to lock down areas if the science suggests the virus is running away with itself and the cases are likely to escalate unless drastic action is taken.

    "Lockdown" means different things to different people but it's also a sliding scale of options.

    Coronavirus signs in Leicester

    I think more likely, at least in the short-term, there may be a public health campaign warning people to be extra vigilant in Leicester.

    Or maybe, you could have a measure just closing takeaways, cafes, non-essential shops, before going back to those other stages from before.

    The problem is, Leicester is such a diverse community and they haven't quite worked out who has been affected. Is there a pattern?

    They're playing detective at the moment - people have been number-crunching over the weekend but this is taking days.

  9. Government advice over Leicester lockdown 'frustrating'

    Rob England

    BBC News

    Getting government advice in order to control a spike in coronavirus cases in Leicester has been "intensely frustrating" according to the city's mayor.

    Sir Peter Soulsby said as of 01:04 this morning, the recommendations were to extend current lockdown restrictions in place in Leicester for two weeks after 4 July.

    England is due to ease restriction on that day, including a relaxing of social distancing rules and pubs, restaurants and cafes reopening.

    Leicester city, a woman walks through the city wearing a mask

    Contrary to comments made by the home secretary at the weekend, the Labour mayor said the new guidance for his area was "not a return to lockdown".

    Commenting on the extension of measures, Mr Soulsby said the report provided by the government was "superficial", contained inaccuracies about the area and did not provide the city council "with the information we need if we are to remain restricted for two weeks longer than the rest of the country".

  10. A 'dying' patient's miraculous recovery

    BBC Stories

    Mohammed Azeem

    When Mohammed Azeem arrived in Bradford Royal Infirmary he was in critical state, with far too little oxygen in his blood - at one point his oxygen levels were "not compatible with life" according to the intensive care specialist treating him.

    But incredibly he survived.

  11. Leicester outbreak: 'No single cause'

    Rob England

    BBC News

    A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past artwork in Leicester city centre

    Leicester's public health director, Ivan Browne, has said getting enough information from the government to tackle a recent outbreak in the city has been difficult.

    Mr Browne said information had been "challenging", adding: "As director of public health [I] have really been pushing for some time to ask for as complete a dataset as possible, because that's how we can really effectively start to challenge these things on the ground."

    He added the new cases were among younger, working-age people and predominantly towards the east of the city.

    "I don't think at the moment we're seeing a single cause or a single smoking gun on this so we need really try to dig down and find out what is going on and it's likely to be a combination of factors."

  12. 'It's safe to come back to Chinatown'

    Chinatown in Birmingham

    The Chinese Quarters of England have been among the hardest hit throughout lockdown, with dozens of family-run businesses forced to close or rebrand, as well as experiencing hate crimes linked to coronavirus.

    The BBC went to Chinatown in Birmingham to see how it plans to bounce back on 4 July.

  13. Huge increase in speeding drivers during London lockdown

    There was a 71% increase in drivers caught speeding in London when the coronavirus lockdown started, new figures show.

    The Met Police issued 3,282 Traffic Offence Reports to drivers suspected of exceeding the limit in April, compared with 1,922 in April 2019.

    A further 14,736 people were caught by London's roadside cameras in April 2020

    But a Freedom of Information request found many forces in the UK saw a decrease in speeding as traffic fell.

    Police officer with speed measure 'gun'
  14. Ston Easton Park goes bust amid pandemic

    A historic building once bought for restoration by MP Jacob Rees-Mogg's father has ceased trading as a four-star hotel because of lockdown.

    Attempts are being made to find new operators for Grade I-listed Ston Easton Park, administrators confirmed.

    Sam Money and Lucy Lowe say they are heartbroken
    Image caption: Sam Money and Lucy Lowe say they are heartbroken

    One couple, due to get married at the Somerset venue, face losing £7,000.

    Lucy Lowe, of Wells, and fiancée Sam Money, from Glastonbury, have been told by administrators Portland Business Recovery (PBR) they are unlikely to get their money back.

  15. Why has Leicester had a rise in cases?

    A combination of factors may have led to a recent rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Leicester, a doctor based in the city has said.

    Dr Manish Pareek, a consultant at Leicester Royal Infirmary, said many of the recent cases were from "inner-city areas...which have high levels of ethnic diversity, pockets of deprivation but also quite crowded housing with inter-generational and multi-occupancy households".

    "It brings together a number of factors which are almost like a perfect storm for a virus to be spread within," he added.

    Man next to a social distancing sign in Leicester city centre

    A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the government was working alongside Public Health England and local authorities to prevent the virus spreading further.

    "Based on the latest data, there are now four mobile testing units deployed and thousands of home testing kits available, to ensure anyone in the area who needs a test can get one," a spokeswoman said.

  16. From Wimbledon to Wimbledon't

    BBC Sport

    Today should have been the start of Wimbledon.

    But, like much of this year's sporting calendar, it's been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.


    That means some of tennis fans' big questions remaining unanswered: will Serena Williams match Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slam singles titles? Does Roger Federer have one more Wimbledon win in him? Who will be the next great British hope?

    But, tennis aside, there are plenty of other things we'll miss about the tournament.

  17. What could local lockdowns look like in England?

    Rob England

    BBC News

    Woman at her window

    Leicester could stay under current lockdown restrictions beyond 4 July following a spike in coronavirus cases.

    At the weekend Home Secretary Priti Patel told the BBC that there would be support going to the city, including help with testing and resources for the local authority as it went into "local lockdown".

    However, it is still unclear how the city is to remain under lockdown as restrictions in nearby areas ease.

  18. Number of mobile testing units to more than double

    The number of mobile Covid-19 testing units in the UK will more than double over coming weeks, with the military earmarked to staff many facilities.

    The Ministry of Defence said 1,763 personnel will support the 236 units. There were 96 units in April.

    British army soldier performing a test at a mobile centre

    "Testing is at the heart of the strategy for beating coronavirus", said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

    The government has been challenged over its testing capacity and the data given during the pandemic.

  19. Author Michael Rosen told he 'might not wake up'

    Michael Rosen

    Author Michael Rosen has said doctors warned him he "might not wake up" while he was being treated for Covid-19.

    The former children's Laureate, 74, spent three months in hospital - 47 days of which were on a ventilator - after contracting coronavirus in March.

    He told the BBC that at one point doctors "handed me a piece of paper and said you've got a 50/50 chance".

    After asking "are you telling me I might not wake up?", he said he was told "'Yes', then I signed something".

  20. Restrictions could be extended for two weeks

    Pubs and restaurants in Leicester may stay closed for two more weeks due to a surge in coronavirus cases, the city's mayor has said.

    Sir Peter Soulsby said the government has recommended current restrictions are maintained for a further fortnight.

    Sir Peter told the Today programme the government had not suggested "a return to lockdown" but to maintain current measures beyond 4 July.

    Yesterday the home secretary said the city faced a possible local lockdown.

    Leicester city centre