Confusion as Boris Johnson appears to announce lockdown in Sheffield

PUBLISHED: 18:37 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 20:55 03 July 2020

Boris Johnson announced a lockdown in Sheffield. Photograph: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire.

Boris Johnson announced a lockdown in Sheffield. Photograph: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire.

The prime minister appeared to confuse Leicester and Sheffield as he explained local lockdowns at the latest Downing Street press briefing.

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Asked why people should continue to follow the rules as pubs re-open after the suggestion people around him had flouted the guidelines, Boris Johnson told journalists: “I don’t want to have to go back to another national lockdown of that kind. We want to deal with local outbreaks with local lockdown measures.

“We’re greatly assisted in our ability to do that by the test and trace operation.

“We’ve seen it working in Kirklees, in Ashford, in Weston-super-Mare, and we’ve just had to do a big one now in Sheffield”.

His remarks prompted confusion on social media, with some viewers living in the area alarmed by the news.


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But others were working on the assumption that the out-of-touch prime minister had mixed-up the city with Leicester.

Michael Markis, a professor at the University of Sheffield, asked: “Has Boris lost it or has there been an outbreak of #COVID19 in Sheffield that none of us knew about? Did he mean to say Leicester or has he got plans for Sheffield?”

“Does he think Sheffield is Leicester?!” questioned Jon Campey.

“Leicester? Sheffield? It’s all somewhere north of Eton in Johnson’s mind,” wrote Sarah Cure.

BBC journalist Dan Walker joked: “Further proof from Boris Johnson that most people have Sheffield on the brain #SheffieldIsSuper”

It follows confusion after the health secretary declared a coronavirus surge in Keighley rather than the Kirklees, prompting the local council to have to tweet a clarification.

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