We must get a grip on spike in Leicester - Hancock

"From today, non-essential retail will have to close in Leicester, and the schools will be closed from Thursday, and we are recommending that people travel as little as possible," Hancock said.

The ancient city of Leicester in central England is the first area of the United Kingdom to face a targeted local coronavirus lockdown after the British government began easing the nationwide lockdown earlier this month.

In Leicester, in the eastern Midlands of England, the seven-day infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 people, three times higher than the next highest city. The city accounted for 10% of all positive cases in the country in the past week, the government said on Monday (June 29).

Hancock said the government was still analysing the exact reasons behind the rise of cases in Leicester.

The United Kingdom has been one of the world's worst-hit areas, with more than 54,000 suspected deaths, though infections have been waning in recent weeks and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has started to roll back nationwide restrictions to revive the economy.