Luton’s Covid-19 intervention to be lifted
We have been told today that the town will be removed as an area of intervention in the fight against Covid-19.
Last week, following a rise in local cases of Covid-19, we agreed with the government to pause the further relaxation of lockdown measures.
This means that indoor gyms, swimming pools and fitness studios that had to remain closed, will now be allowed to open and we expect them to start doing so from the week commencing 3 August 2020.
Separately, the government has today (31 July 2020) announced that changes planned nationally for 1 August have now been delayed until 15 August 2020.
Those who have been shielding have been asked to continue to do so until 17 August 2020. All those on the shielding list would have received a letter from the government and follow up phone calls from the council to advise them of this and the changes to the food deliveries.
The targeted activity the council has been doing locally to contain the virus has assured the government that the town is no longer classed as an area of intervention.
The council will continue to roll out mass Covid-19 testing across the town, which includes introducing additional testing sites to enable anyone who lives in Luton to get a test, even if they don’t have symptoms. Anyone with a Luton postcode can book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus.
Luton’s Director of Public Health Gerry Taylor has welcomed the news but has advised to keep additional local guidance in place while we still wait for the results from the additional mass testing we have undertaken.
She said: “I would like to thank Luton’s residents for playing their part to help reduce the spread of the virus by coming forward to get tested. This announcement from the government gives assurance that we are doing the right things to control the virus locally.
“However, we must remain cautious and will be keeping additional local guidance in place until we receive the results from the increased testing this week so we can assess the full impact and level of community transmission.
“We are therefore still advising residents to follow the current local guidelines to protect Luton and to safeguard families. These local guidelines will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
Local guidance is as follows:
- keep a 2 metre distance from people from outside of your household at all times
- continue to wash your hands regularly
- wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces where it is difficult to keep 2 metres apart
- not to make social visits to other people’s homes or private gardens - if meeting up with others socially, do so outside in an open space or park. This only refers to social visits, not for caring or work responsibilities
- not to meet in large groups – groups should not exceed a max of 6 people (unless they live in the same house)
Cllr Khtija Malik, portfolio holder for public health, said: “I once again would like to thank residents for everything they are doing during this difficult time. This is such a fast moving situation with the national restrictions and local guidance changing regularly which I know can be both frustrating and at times confusing”
“I urge all Luton residents to book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus as this will help us better understand the level of transmission in the community and control the virus.”
For more information and to see the latest local guidance.