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Please be extra vigilant - we are still fighting a deadly virus - urges Luton Council

Alert message sent 12/06/2020 15:33:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police


Luton council is appealing to residents not to lower their guard and to be extra vigilant as restrictions are slowly lifted and more shops and businesses begin to open.

Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, Leader of the Council, warns: “Now is not the time to relax and to become complacent. We have all had to make sacrifices to help reduce the spread of the virus and to save lives and it’s important we don’t undo all of our hard work.

“With lockdown easing, it’s easy to think that things are back to normal but they are not. If you do need to go out it’s even more important to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing frequently so that we all can keep safe.”

Luton recently saw a sudden increase in cases, which shows that the infection is still spreading.

Therefore residents are reminded that:
  • you should stay at home as much as possible, and work from home if you can
  • if you have to go out, you must keep a 2 metre (three steps) distance between you and anyone else who does not live in your home
  • avoid large gatherings and wear a face covering where you are more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet or where it is difficult to maintain social distancing measures
  • wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and especially when you return home
  • if you or anyone in your household have coronavirus symptoms – a new persistent cough, fever, or a loss/change of taste or smell, immediately self-isolate and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus

In line with government guidelines retail outlets selling non-essential items will open from Monday 15 June in Luton. Further details on the safe reopening of shops will be issued this week and residents are advised to adhere to social distancing rules whether queueing outside shops or inside stores.

Gerry Taylor, Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “While the government message has changed I would still urge Luton residents to still stay at home as much as possible – it’s simply one of the safest places to be. Anyone can catch this disease and anyone can spread it. Not everyone who is infected will exhibit symptoms, so please don’t meet up with family and friends inside their homes. You must also stay away from any big gatherings where it is hard to comply with social distancing rules.

“If you have been alerted that you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, or if you or members of your household have symptoms, no matter how mild, please self-isolate and book a test immediately. You can attend one of the regional test facilities or receive a home test kit. This will help to stop the spread of the virus and keep you, your loved ones and others safe.”

Single adult households
Adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each others’ homes, including overnight, without needing to stay 2 metres apart.

It is important to remember, however:
  • support bubbles are exclusive – you should not change members of the bubble
  • if someone in the bubble develops coronavirus symptoms, everyone in the bubble must stay at home
  • continue to take great care, especially remembering to wash hands frequently
  • if you are currently shielding you should not form a support bubble
  • where children are moving between households because of shared custody, each household may form its own support bubble, but if either household shows coronavirus symptoms everyone should stay at home
  • lone adults with children over 18 cannot form support bubbles

Places of worship
Faith plays a vital role in the life of many in our community and I know many of you have been keen to be able to attend your normal places of worship.

Individual prayer only will be allowed. No communal activities will be permitted, although individual households may attend in this manner as if they were a single individual.

Shared spaces must be thoroughly cleaned and there must be hand cleansing when arriving and leaving the place of worship. Individuals must bring their own items such as prayer mats or sacred texts.

Please read the latest government advice on attending places of worship.

Town Centre and non-essential retail to open for business
You would have heard that from Monday 15 June, all shops can open. This is very important for our local economy that has already taken a huge hit as a result of the virus. We have been working really hard with our partners, Luton BID, The Mall, the Galaxy and Culture Trust Luton’s campaign to make visiting shops as safe as possible for everyone by putting in appropriate measures to minimise the risk to people’s health.

Please read about the many measures that will be in place to help shoppers and visitors move about as safely as possible.

In particular there will be one way systems, marshals to advise and assist and floor signage to guide and remind visitors of the need to social distance.

If you are going to go shopping and support local business, please follow the rules at all times to ensure you keep yourself and others safe.

Keep up to date
It seems likely that further changes will emerge in the coming days and weeks and with each one it is important we all fully understand and follow them. You can keep up to date with the latest developments here.

For information on the latest guidance visit www.luton.gov.uk/coronavirus

Luton Council Press Office
Follow @lutoncouncil on Twitter
01582 547402 (including out of hours)
pressoffice@luton.gov.uk
Message sent by
Louise Ross (Police, Communications Officer, Bedfordshire)

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