On June 29, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that, from the following day, non-essential shops would be forced to close and that, from July 2, schools would be shut to all but vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
The city remained an outlier for weeks as it battled to reduce its infection rate, but there have been warnings that repeated, localised lockdowns will become a regular feature of life for the foreseeable future.
To avoid becoming the next place to be put back into lockdown, public health officials in Blackburn last week introduced new measures to slow the virus as cases continue to rise.
Since then, the latest data revealed that Blackburn overtook Leicester as the area with the highest rate of infections in the week to July 21.
Leicester’s lockdown area reduced
Speaking in the House of Commons on July 16, Mr Hancock announced that schools and nurseries will reopen from July 24.
The council will be given “local powers” to reopen non-essential retail stores where it is deemed safe, but pubs and restaurants will remain closed and restrictions on non-essential travel and gatherings of more than six people will continue to be enforced.
Mr Hancock said the city’s lockdown zone would also be reduced, with areas of Leicestershire including Birstall, Thurmastone and Glenfield released from the measures entirely.
The highest infection rates
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described local lockdowns as a measure of “last resort” and set out “five principal components” for tackling new potential outbreaks – “monitoring, engagement, testing, targeted restrictions” and finally lockdown.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference in July, he warned that local lockdowns would remain a “feature of our lives for some time to come”.
The Leicester lockdown came when its infection rate was three times higher than any other local authority in England, at more than 130 cases per 100,000 each week.
Since then the rate has fallen to 60 cases per 100,000 a week, according to the latest data from Public Health England in the seven days to July 21.
Use the Telegraph’s interactive postcode tool below to see whether cases are on the rise in your area.