LEICESTER, UK – In the United Kingdom, the city of Leicester will be allowed to celebrate a public Mass which begins on August 3.
The British government announced the move on July 30, easing some restrictions imposed in the city on June 29 after a surge in positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Leicester was forced to close non-essential shops and its citizens were prohibited from traveling without the need to leave the city. In addition, churches that had been opened for private prayer on June 15 were forced to close their doors to the public.
Having been locked since March 23, all of Britain was permitted to start celebrating the public liturgy on July 4, the same day that pubs and restaurants opened. Northern Ireland has allowed public worship starting June 29, while Wales has permitted it on July 13, with Scotland following on July 15.
This means that the city of Leicester has been without public worship for longer than anywhere else in Europe.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that places of worship in Leicester would be allowed to follow national guidelines starting on Monday, while restaurants and pubs would also be allowed to reopen.
City dwellers will still experience restrictions, and are not permitted to visit other people’s homes, even outside. In addition, the indoor swimming pool and fitness center – open throughout the UK – will remain closed in Leicester.
Similar restrictions are imposed in the Greater Manchester region and other locations located in northern England, where corona virus infections have increased.
The Mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, criticized how the government had handled the situation, with the announcement coming after 10 pm, with little explanation of what it really meant for the people in the city.
“What we need is to understand what can be open and when it can be open, understand what we can do about meeting family and friends and where they can do it; and what is not clear is what will be the travel restrictions, “he said, Friday.
“I think the fact that the decision time has been returned several times – and even when the decision came out, a little about Leicester is very brooding in a bigger statement, which leaves a lot of uncertainty and a lot of frustration,” Soulsby continued.
Wigston and Oadby’s suburbs in Leicester are completely removed from locking restrictions.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the delay of easing further coronavirus restrictions across the UK for two weeks, citing an increase in positive tests for COVID-19.
“The prevalence of the virus in the community, in the UK, is likely to increase for the first time since May,” he said on Friday.
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