Saturday 15th August 2020
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FAQs on further coronavirus measures

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​We appreciate that people have many questions, especially when some of the local guidance differs from the national guidance. We accept that in some instances that people will needs to make individual judgements.

We'll continue to add to this page so please keep checking back.

Questions on Covid-19 local guidance​

Are we in lockdown again?

No

Will there be another lockdown in Luton?

We're taking these measures to avoid a second lockdown in Luton. it’s important for residents to follow the measures to prevent a lockdown like Leicester.

How long will this local guidance be in place?

We will be reviewing the data on a daily basis and review the local guidance each week. We will remove any additional local recommendations when we are confident that cases are decreasing.

Is there different local guidance for funerals?

Funerals should be small and limited to close friends and family – no more than 30 people can gather for a funeral in a place of worship or at the graveside, and the number may need to be lower than this to allow social distancing between households.

People in different households must keep a 2m distance and avoid physical contact. People with coronavirus symptoms should not attend. It is a good idea to provide an alternative to attending – for example, a video stream or recording – so that people who are clinically vulnerable (e.g. those over 70 or with underlying conditions) can avoid coming in person if they choose.

In line with Luton’s Director of Public Health local guidance for Luton, people should not visit each other in their houses before or after the funeral. Please think about other ways you can offer your respects during this very difficult time.​

What is the current local guidance for weddings?

The legal ceremonies for weddings and civil partnerships are strongly advised to go ahead only where they can be done in a COVID-19 secure environment. The ceremony should be kept as short as possible, and not more than 30 people can attend (the maximum may be lower in some venues to permit 2m social distancing between households). There should not be any signing or chanting during the service.

Large wedding receptions or parties (e.g. a si​t down meal) can NOT take place, and in Luton this will NOT change on 1st August. In line with the Luton Director of Public Health’s guidance gatherings should be limited to parks and open spaces.

Foreign holidays - will they be affected if people live in Luton?

The additional guidance provided by the council’s Director of Public Health are recommendations. We fully appreciate that this can be confusing for people when it differs from the national guidelines and law.
 
People will need to make individual judgements in some instances. Foreign holidays are still allowed by law.
 
Any Luton resident that is planning to take a foreign holiday this summer is strongly advised to take extra care by:
  • regularly washing hands
  • keeping to social distancing
  • wearing a face covering in any enclosed space where this would be difficult
You may be required to quarantine for two weeks after returning from a foreign holiday.

Can I still meet indoors with people in my support bubble?

Yes. In England, if you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependent children. In other words, if there is only one adult in your home, you can expand your close support network so that it includes one other household of any size.

This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you are able to have close contact with them as you could if they were members of your own household.

The guidance says we can meet in groups of six at parks. Does that include for exercise and sport?

You can exercise with others in the park but there are a few things to remember to keep you safe.

  • You shouldn’t wear a face covering if you are doing exercise that makes you breath more heavily, like running or playing tennis. Try to stay at least two metres apart and to not be face-to-face with someone during the exercise and recovery.
  • Try not to share equipment and make sure you clean all equipment after use.
  • You can play team sports with more than 6 people if this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation, and sports-governing body guidance has been issued. Team sports that do not have approved guidance should not be played.

Is this guidance relevant for people in LU1/LU4 postcodes who are part of Central Bedfordshire? What about LU5?

We are working closely with our public health colleagues in Central Bedfordshire to assess any risk of higher cases in the relevant postcodes. Latest data does not show that there is any evidence of transmission that requires any additional interventions due to the very low level of cases.

What’s the guidance for car-sharing?

You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household. If you need to do this, try to:

  • share the transport with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products - make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

What is the guidance for face coverings?

We are urging everyone to wear a face covering – inside and outside -  in all enclosed public spaces where it is difficult to keep 2 metres apart.

Where can I see information about Luton’s case numbers?

We know it can be hard to navigate some of the national data so we have created a webpage on our website so you can see the latest COVID-19 cases and deaths in Luton each week. We're still waiting for the data on positive cases from the additional testing we've done recently.

More guidance on how to understand published ward infection rates?

Looking at the numbers of cases in each neighbourhood will help to plan where to place any special testing or control measures.
 
We're now getting data that allows us to track each positive test result and look at where increases in cases are showing in the town.
 
Sometimes an increase in an area is due to a number of cases in a single residence, like a care home, but sometimes we see more than expected cases spread across a few streets or linked to people gathering together (perhaps in a workplace or a pub/restaurant).
 
You might hear about some special testing being arranged in your area. This is to protect people at risk of the disease and is to help us stopping the spread of the infection.​​​​​​​​

Questions on testing

Should everyone in Luton have a test?

We want as many people as possible to take a test. The more people tested, the more accurate picture of the level of transmission in Luton.

Is it compulsory to book a test?

It is compulsory to book a test if you have symptoms. But we are strongly encouraging all residents to book a test, even if you don’t have symptoms.

There are no tests available on the NHS website

Keep checking back – they're released in batches. You can always book a home testing kit.

Are the tests open to all LU postcodes or only those in Luton?

Because of the increase in cases in Luton, for a short period of time we are arranging extra tests so that anyone can get tested, even if they don’t have symptoms. This applies only to Luton residents in LU1-LU4.
We hope to be able to extend this to anyone working in Luton too. Anyone outside of LU1-LU4 who has symptoms should book a test.

How often will we need to be tested?

We do not recommend getting tested more than once a week, unless you have symptoms or believe that you may have been exposed to the virus.

Testing for young children

Tests can be booked for people of any age.
A high temperature can lead to a child being very unwell quickly. It's important to get medical help if you need it.
Call 111 or your GP surgery immediately if your child:
  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature
  • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • does not want to eat, or is not their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that does not come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – such as nappies that are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

I can’t afford not to work if I get a positive test result

It is really important to stop the spread of the virus and save lives that anyone with symptoms gets a test and self-isolates for 10 days (and everyone else in the household isolates for 14 days). If you need financial help whilst you are self-isolating, there is more information on the government's Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you’re employed and cannot work webpage.

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