Here is a statement, issued by the Leader of Luton Council, Hazel Simmons MBE and Lucy Hubber, Luton’s Interim Director of Public Health:
“We have had confirmation that Luton will move into the government’s ‘HIGH-ALERT’ level, with new restrictions introduced after a continued surge in Covid-19 cases. Infections are continuing to rise across the town, with a hugely worrying increase in confirmed positive cases in the over 60s who are much more vulnerable to the disease.
Sadly we are also seeing admissions to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital rising and tragically Covid-19 related deaths in our communities. While Luton’s infection rates are still lower than some areas of the country, the current trajectory makes it clear that action is needed now in order to contain the spread of the virus. Reluctantly, due to the evidence, we have accepted the position of moving up to tier 2.
We do not want to report week on week more deaths in the community before we take action and one of our conditions to the government is that we want regular reviews which will enable us to come out of high-alert if we bring our infections down. We are confident our communities will pull together like they always do and give us a great chance of moving back to medium-alert so we don’t get stuck with these restrictions which will impact on our businesses and communities.
We can only do this with the continued support of our communities – and now more than ever we are asking for your help to act together and follow the guidelines.”
Please take the time to read the restrictions that will be in place in Luton from 12.01am on Saturday 31 October. Here is a summary of what this means:
- In any indoor setting, whether at home or a public place, people MUST NOT meet with anyone they don’t live with (unless they are part of your support bubble or essential carers).
- If outdoors, whether in a garden or public outdoor space, people MUST NOT meet with people they don’t live with in groups of more than 6
These rules are all enforceable by law and must be followed at all times, so please make sure you pass this onto your family, friends, colleagues and networks within the community.
- People should also limit the number of journeys they make away from home.
- If people need to travel they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
- People can continue to go to places of worship and facilities such as leisure centres and libraries are still open, where they are Covid-secure.
The ability to move out of High-risk is down to us all working together to limit our contact with others. Therefore in addition to these rules, we are still urging residents to try and limit meeting people they don’t live with in any setting.
We know how difficult this is for all of us, but we must act now as this really is the best way to slow the spread of the virus.
It is vital we continue to follow Hands – Face – Space. And if you or anyone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, however mild, book a test immediately at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. Don’t leave home at all, and that includes children, unless it is to go for a test.
We know that when we work together we can get the number of cases down, so we are asking you to work with us, as you have on countless occasions in the past. It really is down to each and every one of us to protect Luton, protect our families and save lives.
We have agreed with the government that there will be a review every 14 days on whether we can move back down to Medium if we can stop the increase in case numbers. There will be:
- Increased local testing capacity
- Local test and trace
- Enforcement activity
- Tier 2 business support as announced by the Chancellor
More details on the increased testing, additional support for businesses and how this can be accessed, will be announced in the coming days.