Steve Brett talks to the Independent

…following Leicester Lockdown

Leicester lockdown

The streets of Leicester were all but deserted on Tuesday morning (Samuel Lovett)

Samuel Lovett of The Independent was visiting Leicester on Tuesday morning following the Government’s announcement that Leicester was to re-enter a state of lockdown. Among the business owners he spoke to was Steve Brett. The full article can be found online at The Independent.

The town itself was eerily quiet on Tuesday morning. After a slight increase in footfall and activity over the past two weeks, the surreal silence that marked the peak of the pandemic has since returned. Among those affected by the new rules, which Hancock has said would be enforced by police in some cases, there was nothing but a sense of deflation.

Withers Sports, which has been serving customers just off the high street for more than 75 years, pulled down its shutters again this morning after barely two weeks worth of trade after non-essential shops reopened on 15 June.

“It’s heartbreaking,” owner Steve Brett said. “You’ve got businesses that are 80-years-plus old. Three months ago you go through all the emotions, the anxiety, the stresses, the concerns. You think, are you going to come through this? And now we’re back to this.

“It’s horrendous. We’re online as well so it’s not been too bad. But I feel for the restaurants, cafes, pubs.”

Like other businesses in the area, Brett is concerned as to whether the government will continue to provide support if Leicester finds itself being repeatedly placed into lockdown over the coming months. “I hope there’s going to be some compensation for this. We’re going to need more help if this keeps on happening.

“I understand why, we have to be sensible and safe. I just hope people take heed of this and understand that there are consequences for actions. If people aren’t listening to lockdown rules, then businesses are going to suffer. We just can’t continue like this.”