University urges city to stay strong as Leicester lockdown continues

The University of Leicester’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nishan Canagarajah has urged the city to stay strong and continue to follow Government guidelines, after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that there will be some limited relaxations to the local lockdown restrictions. 

Reacting to today’s announcement Professor Canagarajah said: “I am sure, like me, you feel frustrated and disappointed with this outcome. However, the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and the wider community remains our priority and if the lockdown needs to be extended to deliver this then we must support the decision.

“Early next week, we will share our response to the extension of the lockdown, including updated local guidance. Planning is already well advanced to manage a further extension to the lockdown and we will do all we can to mitigate the impact of this on student recruitment, our education, the student experience and our research.

“It has been hard being the first city to experience a localised lockdown and I know many colleagues have found it an extremely difficult time. At times like this it is vital we reach out and support each other and I am very proud of how our staff and students have helped the community.

"A great example of this is the recent request to support the city’s test and trace drive. Within three days of asking we had more than 200 staff and student volunteers supporting this vital initiative. Our University was built on a heritage of kindness and hope by our community and so it is wonderful to see this continuing today. 

“It is important that we all continue to follow Government advice to protect ourselves and others. We must remain true Citizens of Change and stand together as a community to beat the pandemic.

“We know that Leicester is a vibrant, welcoming and safe city to live, work and study and we should do all that we can to rebuild its reputation and change any negative perceptions.”

A further review of the restrictions will take place in two weeks’ time.