Coronavirus (COVID-19) Image by Philip Steury AdobeStock_332281171.jpg

Infection rates in the local area remain high

The NHS, police and the county’s local authorities have joined forces to issue a stark warning to the people of Bedfordshire and Luton ahead of this weekend.

Although some pubs and restaurants will open for the first time since March on Saturday 4 July, coronavirus is still in the community and infection rates in the local area remain high.

Dr Nicola Smith, clinical chair for NHS BLMK Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

“The last few months has been a true test for the public with many sacrificing their freedom and spending their time supporting and protecting the NHS, however, the virus hasn’t gone away and we must all stay vigilant to slow the spread and lower the infection rate.

“If you plan on visiting a pub or restaurant this weekend, I urge you to stay the safe distance of two metres away from others, wear a face covering if travelling there on public transport and wash your hands regularly with warm soapy water or use hand sanitiser.

“Please remember that anyone can spread coronavirus and anyone can get it. Even if you aren’t presenting symptoms, you can still be carrying the virus. We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves, loved ones, family and friends.”

Contact local Trading Standards Department if you want report a breach of the COVID guidelines in the hospitality industry

Alongside the NHS, partners from across Bedfordshire and Luton are working hard to ensure the local population stays safe and well this weekend.

Bedfordshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said:

“We are looking forward to engaging with the public this weekend, as some pubs and restaurants prepare to open their doors, but only where they can safely welcome customers back after the long and challenging lockdown.

“We will be resuming our usual patrols for weekend social hotspots across the county, including areas where we see typically high footfall and lots of licensed venues.

“As the police, our role in the latest government guidance is to help explain and encourage the advice around social distancing, hygiene and safety, while of course protecting the public from any wider criminality.”

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said:

“I would like everyone to remember their personal and moral responsibility to protect themselves and others around them as well as those who they’ll come into contact with afterwards.

“If anyone wants to report a breach of the COVID guidelines in the hospitality industry, they need to contact their local Trading Standards Department as this is not a police responsibility to enforce.

“Please don’t call the 101 service, let alone 999, as you would only be blocking those who genuinely need to access police assistance.”

Luton Council Leader, Hazel Simmons, Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson and Central Bedfordshire Leader, James Jamieson, issued a joint statement:

“What’s happened in Leicester this week is a reminder that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Any further lockdowns would be even more catastrophic for businesses so if you do plan to go out, please do so in small groups, keep a 2 metre distance at all times and regularly wash your hands.”

If you are presenting symptoms of coronavirus; new continuous cough, high temperature, loss or change in taste or smell, please use the NHS 111 coronavirus online service and book a test immediately.

If you test positive, you and your household must self-isolate for 14 days.

If you would like more information on how to keep yourself and others safe from this weekend, please read the latest blog from Public Health England.

Coronavirus symptoms.

NHS 111 online service.

Book a test.

Reporting a COVID breach to Trading Standards

Central Bedfordshire

Any concerns about businesses not complying with the measures set out, including social distancing inside businesses allowed to remain open, should be emailed to trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk and marked clearly as COVID Business Compliance. Reports will then be investigated by the appropriately delegated officers.

Bedford Borough

Send an email to ehadmin@bedford.gov.uk