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Dont look for loopholes urge local leaders as Covid cases rocket – Leicestershire Live

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/local-news/dont-look-loopholes-urge-local-4870108

People have been urged to stop looking for loopholes in the lockdown rules with Covid-19 infection rates set to reach their highest ever levels in Leicestershire in the coming days.

Leicestershire County Council chiefs say they fully understand that people are tired of lockdown, but believe too many people are focused on trying to find a way round the restrictions, or what penalties they might face if they’re caught breaking the rules.

Instead, they want people to follow the true spirit of the rules and limit all contact with others in a bid to curb the number of infections.

Leicestershire County Council leader Nick Rushton said: “Stay at home and don’t try and find loopholes, I know people are fatigued with it, but let’s not look for loopholes. We need to observe the rules.

“People in the city must be absolutely exasperated – they’ve been locked down since March – but people in the county residents are fatigued with it.

“You can see the numbers, they are the worst we’ve ever had, but looking on the positive side, the vaccine is coming, we are on the home straight now.”

He added: “Just follow the damn rules, don’t go out trying to risk getting a fine or not getting a fine.

“We want people to follow the moral of the rules and set an example.”

Director of public health for Leicestershire, Mike Sandys said that he expects the county’s infection rate to rise higher than ever before in the next couple of days.

“It’s clear to me that over the Christmas and New Year period we have been hit hard. The current Leicestershire rate is 374.1 cases per 100,000 people, our peak was back in November at 396.8.

“The way things have been going up this week I’ve got no doubt that either today or tomorrow or the day after we will go above that figure and we will be in the territory of rates in Leicestershire rising to higher than they have ever been.”

He added that public health bosses were told to look out for ‘numbers escalating rapidly’ to signal that the new variant was spreading locally – something he believes is now happening.

“At the start of the national lockdown I was hoping that it mean we in Leicester and Leicestershire were spared the worst of what’s happened in London and the South East, I’m now downgrading my expectations and now my hope is that the lockdown will be followed and limit the damage.”

Leicester City Council’s director of public health, Ivan Browne, said that there is still an element of people ‘not believing it can happen to them’ or that their actions are just ‘small indiscretions’.

“I’m not sure if that’s the message not landing or if they just don’t want to believe it.

“What we’re trying to say to people is this applies to you.”

He added: “You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone out there who doesn’t know what Covid is or what Covid can do. People know but they are making a decision not to follow rules.

“This applies to everybody. You can’t do the things that you normally did. We all want to but we can’t.”

“If you mix then you spread it, if you spread it, you cause cases, if you cause cases there are hospitalisations and ultimately you cause deaths.

“So when people look in horror at the pictures on the telly of people in intensive care units, they need to remember that they are part of that, that’s not to blame people, that’s just the nature of virus transmission.”