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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber reacts to Leicester lockdown update

Reacting to the Government’s update on when lockdown restrictions in Leicester, along with Oadby and Wigston, will be eased, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “Last night’s announcement marks the first glimpse of light at the end of what’s been a very long and dark tunnel for people and businesses in the Leicester area.

“We welcome the fact that Oadby and Wigston has apparently been fully removed from all measures now while, from what we know so far, pubs, cafés, restaurants and hairdressers can open from Monday in Leicester city.

“However, this has been an extremely difficult time for those affected and businesses in these areas still need support to get up and running again.

“Confirmation from the Government yesterday that it will provide the additional, tailored financial support to businesses we had been calling for offers some short-term respite but we still require more details about how it work – including whether this will come in the form of much-needed grants, rather than loans.

“There are some businesses that remain closed, such as gyms and leisure centres, and we need clarity on when restrictions will be eased further.

“It must also be noted how poor the Government’s communications strategy around this issue has been, in particular the decision to include the update to Leicester’s lockdown situation as a footnote in a wider-ranging national announcement. Businesses and communities want to do the right thing to make sure we can keep the virus under control, but their willingness and confidence risks being undermined by confusing and contradictory messages.

“We must get this right in the future so we can all work together to keep on top of the situation and carefully balance economic recovery with public safety.”