Thursday 2nd July 2020
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Recent coronavirus updates

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2 July

Update on out of school settings
Government has issued new guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

30 June

Luton outbreak control plan
Our local outbreak control plan says how we will work together to protect the health and wellbeing of our population by preventing and managing transmission and outbreaks of COVID-19.

30 June

Updated domestic abuse resources page
We have updated our domestic abuse resources page with some new links for children and young people.

26 June

Support for Business
Further details have been announced on the Job Retention scheme and the Statutory Sick Pay rebate scheme. There is also more information on our Advice for Business pages on the how to keep your business safe by following the COVID-secure guidance.

25 June

Businesses that need to remain closed must continue to do so
​Businesses are gradually being permitted to reopen but some must remain closed. We have been given temporary powers to enforce the compulsory closure of certain businesses that have failed to comply and our officers have been working with police where necessary to enforce regulations.

It is an offence to breach the regulations and could result in fixed penalty notices (FPNs) being issued or prosecution and an unlimited fine. If you have already received an FPN, find out how to pay it on our pay your fixed penalty notice page.

23 June

PM announces easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 July
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today set out further changes to lockdown measures in England​:

  • pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines
  • two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures
  • people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites
  • some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres

The Prime Minister has also set out that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.

Venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas will need to remain closed for now.

23 June

Plans to ease restrictions for those shielding
​The government has announced plans to ease restrictions on those who have been shielding as they have been told that they are clinically extremely vulnerable. From Monday 6 July, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household.

It has also been announced that the shielding support packages being provided to those in this group will remain in place until the end of July when people will no longer be advised to shield. For more information on the changes, see the government’s clinical guidance explainer​.

22 June

Car parking charges reinstated
All parking charges for both on street and council owned car parks are back to normal. Please ensure you pay for your parking before leaving your vehicle using one of the available options as shown on the machines and tariff boards.

18 June

Early Years Funding payments
If you have applied for Early Years Funding payments please be aware that you need to complete the adjustment task in order to receive final payments. We have made an interim payment based on your previous figures. Final payments will be made on or before 17 July.

17 June

Protect yourself from coronavirus-related scams
Bedfordshire Police has issued a warning on NHS Test and Trace scams. For more information see Guidance for people with symptoms of coronavirus - test and trace.

16 June

Mental health crisis support
If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, help is at hand. 24 hour access to urgent mental health crisis support for adults, children or young people across Bedfordshire and Luton is now available. The service is accessed by calling NHS 111 and selecting option 2.

15 June

Don’t become a victim of scams
Mayor of Luton, Councillor Tahir Malik asked Luton residents to be more vigilant against fraud and scams during this time.
 
He said: “We have all been facing a very difficult time in the last few months in the shape of COVID-19. It means more people are facing issues, from employment and debt, to housing and health resulting in more people being in vulnerable situations. Scammers use this uncertainty to take advantage of people by impersonating a person or organisation such as offering coronavirus tests from the NHS.
 
He added: “Scams are crimes that can happen to anyone and that we must all take a stand to help stop them. There are actions we can all take to report them: we can share stories and raise awareness of scams to safeguard ourselves and others. Please help Luton Council to spread the message and stay safe.

15 June

Job Retention Scheme
The government has announced further updates to its furlough scheme including how to apply, how much you can claim and key dates.

15 June

Latest coronavirus advice
Council Leader, Councillor Hazel Simmons, talks about the latest government advice and guidance, and how to keep safe, in her recent interview with Inspire FM.

12 June

Reopening of​ non-essential shops
Non-essential shops are permitted to open and there a number of changes now in place to ensure the town is as safe as it can be for everyone visiting and working there.

12 June

Active at home
Please see this booklet for how to remain active while staying at home for older people and those who are shielding

12 June

Worshiping during the pandemic
See latest government guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic.

11 June

Single adult households
Single adult households – in other words 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.
 
All previous other restrictions for meeting people outside your household will remain in place. See guidance for meeting people from outside your household.

9 June

Changes to waste and recycling service
Tidy tips will be back to their regular opening hours from 15 June and glass collections will begin again, on a monthly basis, from 7 July. View the following webpages for more information on:

8 June

Lord Lieutenant's message
Lord-Lieutenant Helen Nellis has delivered a message for Bedfordshire residents regarding the coronavirus

8 June

International travel
Our web page has been updated with the latest information and guidance relating to international travel, including new measures such as the requirement for people arriving into the UK to self-isolate for 14 days.

8 June

Places of worship
Places of worship across England will be permitted to reopen for individual prayer from 15 June 2020.

8 June

Luton Register Office
The office is open for birth registrations only from 8 June 2020 by appointment only.

5 June

Updated guidance asking people to wear face coverings
As per latest government guidelines from 15 June, face covering will be required while using public transport in England.

3 June

New border quarantine measures to come into force next week
New rules and mea​sures relating to arrivals at the UK border will come into force from next Monday (8 June 2020). These measures will be introduced to prevent new cases of COVID-19 being brought into the UK from abroad.
 
The new measures will include:
  • all arrivals into the UK, bar a short list of exemptions, will have to provide their contact details and an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days
  • the government will provide support to people who are unable to self-isolate safely in their own accommodation, to find appropriate accommodation at their own expense
  • arrivals who are required to self-isolate for 14 days will be contacted randomly by Public Health England to ensure they understand and are complying with the rules
  • breaching self-isolation will be punishable by a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England, as well as potential prosecution or removal from the country as a last resort, the level of fine could be increased if the risk of infection from abroad increases

2 June

Restrictions ease, but the virus can still spread
Read about recent updates from government on guidelines for easing the restrictions, going out and spending time with friends and family with e-luton.

1 June

Test and trace
We have updated our latest government guidance and health advice page with the latest guidance on how testing and tracing will work.

1 June

Tidy Tips
Progress Way tidy tip will be open again from 2 June to for people to dispose of waste that is presenting a hazard and can’t be disposed of in other ways. Open times for both tips are 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week and this will be reviewed before we make a decision to move back to the pre-covid19 opening hours.

1 June

Help for businesses and the self employed
The government has announced an extension to the self-employed scheme as well as further details on the job retention scheme which means employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern.

1 June

Shielding restrictions ease slightly
Extremely vulnerable people who have been 'shielding' are now able to spend time outdoors.
Shielded people will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. Those who live alone can meet outside with one other person from another household.

1 June

Latest government guidance and health advice
We have updated our latest government guidance and health advice webpage with the latest rules and restrictions announced by the government over the weekend.

30 May

Six people can meet outside under new measures to ease lockdown
Groups of up to six people will be able to meet outdoors from Monday 1 June, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces, provided strict social distancing guidelines are followed.

29 May

COVID-19 briefing: community focus

This document has been produced by our Information and Intelligence team on behalf of Public Health. It includes data and statistics that specifically relate to COVID-19 in Luton, including:
  • in memoriam
  • analysis of hospital and settings data
  • key findings

COVID-19 briefing: community focus

28 May

Council engaging emergency budget proposals
Luton Council is now seeking views from residents of the town on its initial thinking of how it can make the required savings.

28 May

Advice for businesses
We have added further updates to our business support pages including details on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and how you can sign up to the government’s information webinars.

26 May

Discretionary business support grant
The government has announced a discretionary fund aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. We've been working hard to launch the scheme and are pleased to say applications are now live.

26 May

Roadmap for reopening of retail businesses
Car showrooms will reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the Covid-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
 
All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the government’s five tests are met and they follow the Covid-19 secure guidelines.
 
Businesses will only be able to open once they've completed a risk assessment and are confident they're managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become Covid-19 secure, in line with the current health and safety legislation. We'll give more details once the government has announced further guidance.

22 May

Parking charges and enforcement
From 1 June 2020, we will continue to lift parking charges which apply to all council owned car parks and we've made some changes to our parking bays and enforcement activities.

22 May

Test and trace
The government is due to launch a tracing service in England soon as part of its Test and Trace strategy as we move toward step 2 of the recovery plan

22 May

Antibody tests
As part of a new antibody testing programme, antibody tests will be available shortly to NHS and care staff, eligible patients and care residents in England to see if they have had coronavirus.

20 May

How to treat coronavirus at home
Here's some advice from the NHS on how to treat the symptoms of coronavirus at home.

19 May

Business updates
More updates to our Business Advice page including details on Statutory Sick Pay rebates and the launch of the Future Fund scheme.

19 May

Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms can now get a test

18 May

Schools update
We've added the latest information on Luton schools opening and keeping children and staff safe.

18 May

New information about coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms has been announced
From today, loss of smell or taste has been added to coronavirus symptoms (others being a fever and continuous cough) to watch out for as conditions to self-isolate.

15 May

Parks and open spaces
Following the recent updates from government on guidelines about spending time outside and exercising we have updated our parks service pages. Also we have the latest e-luton update on coronaviirus guidance.

14 May

Community heroes
Our chief executive, Robin Porter, has paid tribute to the ‘awe-inspiring’ work of voluntary and charity groups across the town during the covid- 19 emergency.

12 May

Job Retention Scheme
The government’s coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October.

12 May

Latest government guidance for business
Guidance has just been issued to help employers, employees and the self employed to ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.
 
There are 8 guides which cover a range of different types of work settings including offices and restaurants offering takeaways and deliveries.

12 May

More help if you're affected by domestic abuse
We've added further resources to our domestic abuse page including:
  • stalking risks during coronavirus
  • latest issue of Central Beds factsheets - a nurtuting environment
  • more national helplines
  • advice for families on effective co-parenting and child arrangementsdvice for families on effective co-parenting and child arrangements
  • COVID-19 information booklet for children and young people

11 May

Emergency budget and vital petition
We told over 32,000 residents today about our upcoming emergency budget. We also asked for as many signatures as possible on a vital petition to government, asking for crisis fund in order to prevent essential services to the most vulnerable people in the town from being cut.

11 May

Petition to government
Our community is calling on the government to provide crisis funding for Luton Council. This will stop essential services for the most vulnerable people in our town being drastically cut or closed from as early as July 2020.

11 May

Highways work to support social distancing
Bury Park has a number of shops which remain open during this time because they provide essential services to residents – these include grocery and food shops. The area has become more congested as people are queuing outside the shops whilst keeping to the social distancing rules. This makes it difficult for other people to pass safely.
 
In order to keep everyone safe, our Highways team have closed some of the parking and loading bays and ramped the kerbs to allow pedestrians to pass safely while observing social distancing.

10 May

Updated lockdown and social distancing guidance
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the country this evening (Sunday 10 May). He set out new government guidance saying everyone must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms


The Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the country this evening (Sunday 10 May). He set out new government guidance saying everyone must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

7 May

Latest digital newsletters
This week, we've emailed 32,000 Luton residents with the latest coronavirus updates and today we emailed 4,000 Luton businesses with information on the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), bounce back loans, grants, tip up fund and more.
 
If you're not already subscribed to our digital newsletters, opt in now for the latest local news and updates.

7 May

Eaton Green Road tidy tip to open from 11 May
We appreciate your patience during the closure of the tidy tips but guidance has now changed. This means they can be open with social distancing rules in place and only for essential reasons.

6 May

Dedicated app for social care workers launched
A new dedicated app for the adult social care workforce in England has been launched to support staff through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

5 May

Letter to all GCSE, AS and A level students
Read this message for all GCSE, AS and A level students regarding how grades will be calculated this summer.

5  May

Latest guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers
Answers to some common questions about summer 2020 grades for GCSE, AS and A level, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced.

5 May

Financial impact of Covid-19 could be disastrous
We're facing a devastating projected shortfall of £49m in our finances this year as a result of the Covid-19 emergency.
 
Plans are underway to prepare an emergency budget in the summer where councillors will be forced to agree to extremely difficult cuts to key services unless the council’s desperate plea to the government for immediate cash is successful.
  • Read news item in full

5 May

Top-up to local business grant funds scheme
The government has announced a discretionary fund aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and we will update as soon as we have guidance from government on how this will be administered.

1 May

Community Led Local Development (CLLD) small grants funding changes
In line with government’s announcements, the CLLD small grants programme will now not run as previously scheduled.

1 May

Inspire FM radio interviews
We've added the latest Inspire FM radio interview for you to listen to. This interview is with a consultant in the L&D emergency room and a local GP.

30 April

Can I get tested for coronavirus?
Anyone in England with coronavirus symptoms can now get tested for coronavirus if either you:
  • have to leave home to go to work
  • are aged 65 and over

30 April

Translated and accessible resources
We've added new resources for community groups - coronavirus guidance on different topics, translated resources in different languages and accessible resources.

29 April

Job retention scheme updates
A step by step guide for employers which explains the information they need to provide to make a claim through the Job Retention Scheme is now available.

29 April

Further updates to business advice page
The government has introduced a new loan scheme for businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 which will be interest free for the first 12 months.

29 April

More information on funerals and burials
We've updated the information on funerals to include ways to make them as safe as possible, visiting the cemetery, registering a death and links to further information.

29 April

Making a difference
We're bringing a bit of positivity to you! Find out how people in the community are going the extra mile to help the people of Luton. We'd love to tell your story too.

29 April

Update to domestic resources page
We've added more resources for anyone experiencing economic abuse (coercing you into debt) and substance misuse in young people.

28 April

Luton Council staff step up to the plate
Our chief executive, Robin Porter is just one of the many council workers who in recent days have been refocusing their work priorities to ensure residents get the help they need.

27 April

Blue badges
Information on how to renew and apply for Blue Badges and details on the relaxation on expired badges enforcement during this period.

27 April

Updates to mental wellbeing page
Visit our mental wellbeing page for tips on how to manage your mental health and resources for help and support.

23 April

Updates to domestic abuse resources page
We've added more resources for anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse. This includes:
  • national helplines
  • GOV.UK guidance
  • free rail travel for domestic abuse victims
  • staying safe during Covid-19
See domestic abuse resources.

23 April

Using Luton's parks and open spaces
​Luton has a range of local parks and greenspaces that provide opportunities to get out into the open air for daily exercise and we encourage people to use their local open space to do this. This is in line with government guidelines of avoiding non-essential travel.
 
You must however follow government guidelines on social distancing - there should not be groups of more than 2 people unless they come from the same household, and people must keep more than 2 metres away from each other.

23 April

Luton and Dunstable (L&D) hospital – update for family members of patients
We know that this is a distressing time for families of loved ones who are admitted to hospital, and unable to visit because of current restrictions.
 
L&D hospital have set up a dedicated inpatient next of kin helpline for family members who want to check up on their loved ones – please nominate one family member to call 01582 718884 between 8am and 6pm.

23 April

Digital business newsletter
We've just sent the latest update to 4,000 Luton businesses with details about the job retention scheme, business grants, webinars, support finder tool and more...

23 April

Brown waste collections re-start on 5 May 2020
Our waste and recycling team has been working hard to keep services running during Covid-19 and its impact on staffing and we’re happy to announce that we can start collecting garden waste again from Tuesday 5 May 2020.

22 April

From financial support to Tidy Tips: your coronavirus questions answered
Watch a video of three senior leaders at Luton Council responding to your questions about the coronavirus pandemic.

22 April

Taxi licenses
Licences for private hire, hackney carriage including vehicle and driver, which are due to expire in April, May and June 2020 will now be required to submit a shortened application form online.

22 April

Update on cemeteries
Luton’s cemetery grounds are open to the public again following updated government guidance at the weekend.

21 April

Radio interview about businesses
Sarah Hall, Service Director for Public Protection has taken part in the latest series of interviews for our community on Inspire FM. She thanks businesses that remain open to provide essential goods to residents for doing so safely. There’s information on which businesses should be still open and advice on how businesses can keep things safe for customers and staff.

20 April

Update on the Planning Service
The council’s Planning Service remains open but we have adjusted the way it runs in order for you to access the service in the best way possible. 

20 April

Job Retention Scheme is now live
The government’s furlough scheme opens for applications today, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.

16 April

Latest issue of e-Luton
Find out what our teams are doing, how to get support if you're self isolating and how to celebrate our #everydayheroes.

16 April

Supermarkets and pharmacies support Covid-19 messaging campaign
The government’s 'stay at home' message is now being promoted in supermarkets and pharmacies in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Many thanks to our passenger transport team who supported this effort by delivering them to locations across Luton.

16 April

Funeral charges
We're reducing some charges for funerals at The Vale. These relate to weekend funerals, and for when there may sadly be more than one death in a household within six weeks related to Covid-19.

16 April

Important community messages
We've partnered with Inspire FM to arrange for special guests to relay important updates and guidance for Luton’s communities. We encourage you to listen to these interviews.

15 April

Appeal for information after 'unbelievably reckless' disorder during lockdown
Bedfordshire Police has urged people to come forward with information after a disorder involving more than a dozen people last weekend.

Councillor Hazel Simmons has said it is extremely disheartening to see such behaviour whilst the majority of people in Luton are playing their part in the fight against coronavirus by following the rules.

15 April

Coronavirus and ibuprofen
Latest government update suggests that currently there is insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen and susceptibility to contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) or the worsening of its symptoms.

15 April

Driving to work and your car insurance
If you have to drive to your workplace because of the impact of Covid-19, your insurance policy will still be valid. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.
 
If you work in one of the critical sectors listed by the government and you need to use your own car to drive to different locations for work purposes because of the impact of Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

15 April

MOTs due from 30 March 2020
Your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 - but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.

15 April

More domestic abuse resources
We added more guidance from organisations for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, plus tips on supporting someone else experiencing abuse and an online hub space from NSPCC.

14 April

Looking after your mental wellbeing
If you're struggling with your mental health during this crisis, you aren't alone. Our guide includes tips on how to manage your mental wellbeing.

14 April

Wellbeing support
Total Wellbeing Luton is running a modified service and offering support online and over the phone - please call 0300 555 4152.

9 April

Support if you're self-isolating
Not everyone that needs to self-isolate will be able to arrange help with essential or urgent supplies through family or friends. If that includes you, find support from local groups and organisations here.

9 April

Stay home and stay safe this Easter
We're joining with Bedfordshire Police, local authorities and our health partners to urge everyone to stay at home and follow social distancing guidelines over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
 
Officers will be out enforcing restrictions, and we are calling on all our residents to help stop the spread of this virus by doing their bit.

9 April

Latest coronavirus email updates
We've sent digital newsletters to over 32,000 residents and over 4,000 businesses today. Read them below and opt in for future updates if you haven't already.

9 April

Financial support for businesses
A full list of financial support for business has been published by the government. Find out everything that is on offer as well as how to apply for the Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants.

9 April

Tidy Tips
Unfortunately there are still a number of people turning up to our Tidy Tips which are closed until further notice. We're following government guidelines to keep residents and our staff safe and well.

9 April

Bin collections
To help stop the spread of the virus and to keep our bin crews safe, we're asking people to please wipe down the handles of bins before putting them out and taking them back inside. We also want to remind people how to store personal waste including used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths.

8 April

Support with funeral costs
Financial support is available to help families on certain benefits to meet the costs of funeral expenses such as coffins and funeral directors. In response to the coronavirus outbreak the government has announced an increase of the financial support available from £700 to £1,000.

8 April

Schools open over Easter
Schools are open during the Easter period, including bank holidays, for children of critical workers and vulnerable children who do not have alternative arrangements.
 
Parents have been informed of arrangements by their children’s schools. If you need to access a school place during this time, details of how to do this are available on individual school’s websites.

7 April

Online educational resources
Today the Department for Education (DfE) has released details of free online educational resources for schools and parents providing a wide range of support for pupils of all ages including English, maths, science, PE, wellbeing and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to help children to learn at home.

7 April

Thank you to our volunteers
We now have more than 400 volunteers signed up to help the most vulnerable people in our town! A HUGE thanks to you all.
 
Due the amazing response, we've paused recruitment. Those who applied may not hear from us for a few days – but bear with us and we'll be in touch. There will be plenty to do in the coming weeks and we really do appreciate your interest.

7 April

e-Luton coronavirus update
Messages in this update include council tax reduction, domestic abuse support, funerals, waste collections, coronavirus scams and webinar Q&A.

6 April

Domestic abuse support
More resources have been added to our domestic abuse support page including new helplines, contacts for housing support, child contact arrangements and more.

6 April

Local school makes protective gear for frontline workers
Staff and pupils at Ashcroft High School have been making vital protective headgear for those serving us all on the front line.

6 April

Thank you!
Together with the NHS and councils across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, we're thanking the #EveryDayHeroes supporting our communities during this national crisis.

6 April

Closure of cemetary grounds
Acting on government instruction, we regret that cemetery grounds in Luton will have to be closed from tonight until further notice, except for burial and cremation ceremonies.
 

6 April

New coronavirus health checker tool
People with potential coronavirus symptoms are now being asked to:
 
  • complete a new coronavirus status checker
  • answer a short series of questions that will tell the NHS about their experience
This checker will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak. 

4 April

Residents urged to stay home as pandemic set to hit Bedfordshire
 
Bedfordshire Police has issued a joint statement with partners across the country, including Luton Council, about the expected increase in local coronavirus cases and announced they will be stepping up patrols to ensure people are sticking to the national guidelines.

3 April

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
 
CBILS is delivered through a range of over 40 accredited lenders and offers attractive terms for both:
  • businesses applying for new facilities
  • lenders
It has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme.

3 April

Physical activity and mental health
 
We've added more resources to our physical activity and mental health page, including stay at home activities, free learnng resources and more.

3 April

Childcare setting closures
 
We've added local childcare settings and children's centres to our school closures page.

3 April

Information for landlords
 
New guidance on right to rent checks during the coronavirus crisis has been added.

2 April

Car park at Inspire Sports Village
Unfortunately the car park at Inspire Sports Village is to close indefinitely from tomorrow. Active Luton and the council have attempted to keep the car park open to promote physical activity.
 
However due to reduced capacity and in an attempt to prevent unessential travel, we have taken the decision to close the car park until the lock down is lifted and the centre can reopen.
Stopsley Common can still be accessed via St Thomas’s Road but we would again like to stress the governments recommendation around non-essential travel.

2 April

Digital coronavirus updates
Whether you're a Luton resident or a local business owner, we're sending regular email updates tailored to your needs. Read the latest updates sent yesterday and sign up to one or more of our digital newsletters using the green button below.

Opt into regular email updates

2 April

Reminder: Luton Tidy Tips closed until further notice
Just a reminder that Luton’s household waste and recycling centres (Tidy Tips) are closed until further notice. The safety of customers and staff is very important.
 
 
Much of the waste that goes through the Tidy Tips is bulky waste (large items such as furniture, wood and metals) and garden waste. You should hold onto these items until the sites reopen. Do not put any electrical items in any of your bins at home.

2 April

Schools update - free school meals
 
Following the launch of the national voucher scheme, schools are beginning to use the Edenred online portal to order supermarket vouchers for parents/carers of children eligible for free school meals.

2 April

Easter school provision
Luton schools are working together to ensure the education and care of critical key workers’ children and vulnerable children can continue during the two-week Easter break including bank holidays. More details to follow.

2 April

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)
Businesses in England in receipt of the expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) and with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible.
 

1 April

ITV News speaks to Councillor Khan in Bury Park
Councillor Aslam Khan has been speaking to ITV Anglia (at a safe distance) in Bury Park, delivering vital public health reminders for the community with Bedfordshire Police. You can watch the report tomorrow evening (April 2) on the evening news bulletin.
 
 

1 April

Message from Luton's mayor
"Coronavirus doesn’t care who you are, we are all at risk. Our immediate priority is to save as many lives as possible, and everyone has a part to play."

1 April

Parking enforcement activities
We've already lifted parking charges which apply to all council owned car parks and on-street parking bays. Now we've added more information about the activities we will and won't be carrying out duting the coronavirus crisis.
 

1 April

Burials of COVID-19 deceased
 
Sadly, many people will lose family members during the coronavirus crisis. We've put together some guidance if you need to attend a funeral.

1 April

Luton Leader writes to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Councillor Hazel Simmons has written to Matt Hancock, seeking urgent clarification on delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our care staff who need it.
 
 
We want our staff to be fully protected when carrying out their roles.

1 April

Registration Service – office closed
 
Luton Registration office is closed to until further notice for all services other than death registration appointments.
 
Please email your name and contact telephone number to [email protected]. An officer will contact you to arrange a telephone appointment. If you're unable to email your details please contact 0300 790 0341.

1 April

Care of the deceased and funeral attendance
Latest advice for the bereaved and those whose work brings them into contact with a deceased person who had displayed Coronavirus symptoms.

31 March

New temporary home for midwives
Midwives in Luton have moved to a new temporary home during the coronavirus crisis.

31 March

Free school meals
The government has launched a national voucher scheme to ensure children who are eligible for free school meals will continue to access meals whilst they stay at home. We're currently reviewing the government guidance and more details will follow.

31 March

Are you, or someone you know, at risk from domestic abuse?
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, help and support is available.

31 March

Waste and bin collections
We've added further updates on waste and recycling services, including details on side waste and how to make sure you're using a licensed carrier for disposal of extra waste.

30 March

Information for landlords
The government has issued guidance for landlords and tenants in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak, relating to health & safety obligations and changes to the law relating to possession proceedings.
 

30 March

Selective licensing
Selective licensing has been deferred until not before 1 July.

30 March

Coronarus and mental heath
People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope.

30 March

Tenants and leaseholders
Thank you for working with us during this difficult period. We've put together a summary of the changes we've had to make to the services delivered by the Housing Service to protect staff, tenants and comply with the government’s directives.

28 March

Housing Services contacts
We've listed contact details for services within Housing Operations and Housing Needs during the closures due to COVID-19. Please note that these are being kept under review as circumstances change.

27 March

New campaign toolkit and translated resources
We've created a campaign toolkit and translated resources to help promote key advice and information about coronavirus. This includes guidance on:
  • how to stay well at home
  • social distancing 
Please share these materials with your family and friends particularly those who are unable to access our materials online. You can request printed copies by emailing [email protected].

27 March

Guidance for individuals supporting friends and family in isolation
 
The government has released guidance for individuals supporting family and friends who are self-isolating. Under the government’s stay home policy, providing care or support to vulnerable friends and family is one of the four reasons to leave the home.
 
The guidance outlines how you can do this safely, by minimising the time spent in a vulnerable person’s home and maintaining a two metre distance from people outside of their own household.

27 March

Update to benefits information
We've added more information around claiming benefits during the coronavirus crisis, and contacting the benefits team if you need to.

27 March

Parks service
Luton’s parks remain open to enable people to exercise close to home but please use them within the government's guidelines for social distancing.
 
Also see this page for grass cutting and allotments updates.

27 March

Thank you to local shop owners helping to keep our communities safe
We’d like to say a special thank you to the local shop owners and businesses that are permitted to remain open  but have put control measures in place.
 
You've made the health, safety and wellbeing of your customers and employees a priority by ensuring social distancing and careful hygiene practices throughout your stores.
 
These actions will help to keep our communities safe and particularly protect our vulnerable people.

27 March

Business advice
More details on the latest government measures including the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which will support those who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19), information for food businesses and for businesses that trade internationally.

26 March

Government announcement - support for self employed workers
Self employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus, the chancellor has announced.
 
 
The money - up to a maximum of £2,500 a month - will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.
 
More details to follow as they're released.

26 March

Council to provide vehicles to assist NHS 
Our Passenger Transport team has offered to provide our Bedfordshire NHS health partners assistance by   transporting patients across Luton, the rest of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.
 
The support offered is to mitigate the risk posed to patients being unable to travel to critical appointments (such as cancer, renal and potentially patient discharges).

26 March

Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

26 March

Customer Services
  • To keep face to face contact to a minimum, services will be replaced with telephone contact as much as possible. Please help us to help the most vulnerable in our town by searching our coronavirus help page before making a call
  • In some cases, customers will be asked to email their requests in or provided with a scheduled telephone appointment where previously a face to face appointment would have been made.
  • Customers are no longer required to present documents in person but can either upload or send these by post.
  • To manage reduced staff levels will be temporarily reduce the operating hours of the contact centre from 8am to 6pm to 9am to 5pm. This will be reviewed in 4 weeks or sooner if staffing levels permit.
  • We have closed a number of public buildings in line with government advice. This means outreach services at Farley Hill and Lewsey Community Centres, Futures House and Luton Job Centre Plus are no longer running. In the event that government guidance changes to permit the opening of these sites, we will review our decision provided there are sufficient staff in place.

26 March

Revenues and benefits
  • Enforcement Agent visits for council tax business rates and BID levy will be replaced by telephone calls until the end of June.
  • Council tax and business rates inspections will be put on hold until the end of June.
  • Telephone verification will be attempted where possible.
  • The Council has decided not to summons council tax business rates and BID levy payers for late payment until the end of June.
  • The requirement to see original documentation for Housing benefit has been relaxed until the end of June. Original documentation can be uploaded and sent digitally via our website or posted. 

26 March

Schools update
Due to parent and carers following the government instruction to stay at home, Luton schools are now caring for lower numbers of children. Our staff will be keeping in touch with the majority of our vulnerable children if they're not attending school.
 
We anticipate the national voucher scheme for free school meals will be launched next week. In the meantime schools will continue to support families with supermarkets vouchers and/or providing school meals or packed lunches.

26 March

Coronavirus scams
The coronavirus situation is unfortunately an opportunity for criminals to exploit those with fears about COVID-19 and prey on those who are:
  • older
  • vulnerable
  • isolated from family and friends
We're asking you to remain vigilant and take extra care during these difficult times by reading and following the advice given on this page:

26 March

Managing your energy supply
Advice and answers to questions you may have on managing your energy supply during the outbreak.

26 March

Education admissions and appeals
With the current closure of schools there may be unavoidable delays to progressing in-year applications for school places. Late applications for children starting school or moving to a secondary or junior school in September may also be affected.
 
We're monitoring government guidance and currently considering the possible impact of the coronavirus on school appeals.

26 March

Give help or get help
We've added more information on trusted local charities and groups that are offering help to those in need.
 
If you're a vulnerable person - aged over 70 and/or with underlying health conditions – and require urgent help, please contact 01582 546759.

26 March

Free parking on public roads and in council-owned car parks
To assist key workers who still need to get to work, we're suspending all parking charges for both on street and council-owned car parks from today.
 
This is to assist keyworkers to get to their places of work with greater ease and ensure hassle-free parking for all those amazing volunteers helping people who are self isolating and in need of assistance.
 
Time limits will continue to be in place for on-street parking bays and we would ask drivers to respect these. Council car parks will be open and are available for all day parking for those keyworkers who require it for their shifts. People are not required to make a payment or display a ticket in your vehicle.
 
Our cashless parking system (paybyphone) will also reflect this change. These arrangements will be in place for initially three weeks in line with the government’s recent announcement around staying at home.

26 March

Licensing service
ALL six monthly vehicle appointments are suspended until further notice, No vehicles due a six monthly check during this period will need to have the check. However we would remind vehicle owners of the need to keep their vehicle in a safe and suitable condition.

25 March

More business updates
More information announced for local business including a three month extension period to file accounts for companies during COVID-19 and details on commercial rent payments.

25 March

Changes to Luton children's community health services
See the link below for changes and cancellations to children’s community health services such as MASH, 0-5 services, nursing and others.

25 March

Changes to Luton adult’s community health services
See the link below for changes and cancellations to adult’s community health services such as safeguarding nursing and other services.

25 March

Luton Registration Service - register office now closed
The General Register Office for England and Wales and Public Health England is now closed to the general public until further notice for all services other than death registration appointments.
 
Parents will still be able to claim child benefit and universal credit prior to their baby’s birth being registered until birth registrations resume.
 
All marriage notice appointments, weddings and civil partnerships are suspended until further government advice.

25 March

Luton Tidy Tips closed until further notice
The safety of customers and staff is very important, therefore in accordance with current government Coronavirus guidelines of avoiding non-essential contact and preventing a risk of infection to others, our Household Waste and Recycling Centres (Tidy Tips) will remain closed.

25 March

Closure of non-essential premises
Following the latest government advice, we're adapting our public protection services while working to help ensure the safety of our residents, local businesses and our staff.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with previous guidance. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

Retail and public premises which remain open must:

  • ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants
  • let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded
  • queue control is required outside shops and other essential premises that remain open

Our enforcement officers are out checking that businesses are complying but if you want to report a business that has failed to close do email [email protected].

25 March

Access to Parking Services
We are no longer offering a public counter service and all of our services are now available online on the Parking webpages.

If you encounter difficulties using our online services or if you have any other concerns, please email [email protected]. In addition you can contact us by phone, please call us on 01582 547272 and leave a voicemail message. One of the team will return your call as soon as possible.

25 March

Public protection
Following the latest government advice, we're adapting our public protection services while working to help ensure the safety of our residents, local businesses and our staff.

We encourage you, wherever possible, use our online services to:

25 March

Licensing services
Our licensing service public counter and including licensing staff public counter at Kingsway depot is closed for day to day business with immediate effect until further notice.

24 March

Why it’s important to stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
 

 

24 March

Are you overseas and trying to get home?
Dominic Raab responded to an urgent question in the House of Commons on how government is supporting British people who are abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.

24 March

Guidance on school closures
The government has published:

24 March

Council tax support
The Government has announced a new hardship fund to provide council tax relief for vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus.

24 March

Stay at home activities
Our new guide includes guidance for parents and carers on how to structure your days while staying at home. It also has lots of resources for all kinds of activities - both educational and fun!

24 March

Advice for businesses
We've updated this page with lots more information about the support available to businesses and how to access it.

24 March

Total wellbeing Luton – service update
We wanted to provide an update on how we’re responding to the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we are ensuring we continue to provide the best possible service to you at this difficult time.
 
We're following the latest government advice and have already taken a range of steps to maintain our service to you. Please visit the Total Wellbeing website for details of changes to our services.

24 March

Communities urged to stay in and keep safe across Bedfordshire
 
Bedfordshire Police and its partners are urging communities to follow national advice by staying in and supporting one another to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

24 March

Affinity Water support package available
A package of support will be available from Affinity Water to households in financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus. The support includes:
  • access to payment breaks
  • help to reduce costs
  • the opportunity to spread bill payments
Anyone impacted financially by coronavirus can get help accessing this support via the Affinity Water website. People with existing health issues are advised to register for priority services so they can access additional support if required. 

24 March

Having difficulty paying your Council Tax?
We've just added advice for anyone worried about payig their tax, fromapplying for Council Tax Reduction to money saving tips.

24 March

Closure of non-essential premises
Following government guidance all non-essential premises will close.
 
Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with previous guidance. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.
 
Retail and public premises which remain open must remember:
  • to ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants
  • to let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded
  • queue control is required outside shops and other essential premises that remain open

Guidance: Further businesses and remises to close

24 March

Parks and playgrounds
Following government guidance on public places, our parks will remain open but:
  • there will be no gatherings of more than two people except for households allowed
  • communal children’s play areas and fitness equipment will be out of use until further notice
Please also note the public toilets in Wardown park are currently closed.

24 March

Scam alert
ActionFraud have reported an increase of 400% for coronavirus-related fraud reports in March. Please remain aware and alert!
  • There are currently no Covid-19 home testing kits available to the public so if you are approached by someone offering to sell you a kit on your doorstep, it is a scam. 
  • Make sure you buy medicines from registered healthcare professionals and never give out your personal or bank details to the sellers.
  • Beware of any emails you receive which requests your personal details including your credit card number and address . Even if it looks official, it’s a scam - official organisations do not request personal information online.

See more details of they types of scams in operation right now.

24 March

Tidy Tips
Our household waste and recycling centres (Tidy Tips) on Eaton Green Road and Progress Way will not open as usual this morning. We're waiting for guidance as to whether the sites will remain shut from today until further notice.

24 March

Schools remain open but only if you really need them
Following yesterday’s announcement by the prime minister, schools and childcare providers will remain open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.
 
If your work is not critical in the response to coronavirus then please keep your child at home. If your child can not be cared for safely at home please contact your child’s school.

24 March

Flying Start children’s centres
All Flying Start children’s centres are temporarily suspended until further notice. If you need advice or support please visit our website or call one of these numbers:
  • central - 01582 546931
  • north - 01582 546925
  • south - 01582 546929
  • west - 01582 546932

23 March

Guidance for social distancing – translated

23 March

A big thank you to Luton schools!
Most were open today and were able to care for over 600 children. Schools will continue to be open for children of key workers and vulnerable children on a daily basis. Parents should contact their child’s school if they have any queries.

23 March

Prime minister addresses the nation
Following the announcement made by the prime minister this evening (23 March) about strict new measures to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, we're considering implications across all our services. Updates will follow shortly.

23 March

Save lives, stay at home
Our latest e-newsletter is live. Read on for the latest coronavirus advice, a message from the leader of the council and key local updates.

23 March

Changes to Arriva bus timetables
Emergency timetables are being introduced on many Arriva services in Bedfordshire from today.

23 March

Support for businesses
The government has just announced details of further help for business including:
  • Small Business and Retail and Hospitality Grant scheme
    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme
Find out how you can apply below.

23 March

Update from London Luton Airport Ltd.
The Covid-19 pandemic is having a major impact on the aviation industry. Our focus during these unprecedented times is firmly upon supporting staff and all our partners across London Luton Airport, and preparing for a period of recovery.

Following our Statutory Consultation during the Autumn, we're considering very closely and seriously the feedback we received as we continue to prepare for a Development Consent Order application.

23 March

Shielding advice for high risk groups
The  has shared guidance for shielding for those who face the highest risk of being hospitalised by the virus to stay at home and protect themselves from others.

22 March

Vulnerable children and young people
Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people.

22 March

Warning on panic buying and businesses profiteering from Coronavirus pandemic
We're calling on everyone to think of others and this includes asking shoppers to resist the temptation to panic buy and stockpile.
 
We're very disappointed to learn that some business owners are raising their prices, taking advantage of these unprecedented times by profiteering from the fears of those in our community.
 
We have powers to stop this practice and intend to do so - please report businesses to [email protected].

21 March

Businesses and venues to close
The following businesses and venues have been asked to close:
  • food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes
  • drinking establishments, including pubs, bars, nightclubs
  • entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and bingo halls
  • museums and galleries
  • spas and massage parlours
  • casinos and betting shops
  • all indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms

21 March

The government has announced further measures on social distancing.

20 March

If you're absent from work due to coronavirus
People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.

20 March

Ibuprofen use and coronavirus
The government has released a statement saying there is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

20 March

Update on Luton schools
Luton schools, colleges and other education settings  have risen to the challenge to support the government’s response to the coronavirus.
 
From Monday 23 March almost all mainstream education provisions will be open for children of key workers and vulnerable children. Parents should contact their child’s school should they have any queries regarding their eligibility to have their child cared for at school. Please visit the school closure page for regular updates of any closures. ​

20 March

Changes to bus services
Bus pass rules have been relaxed to enable pass holders to take advantage of some supermarkets opening early for older and disabled people.
 
However, many bus operators are running a reduced service.

20 March

Changes to bin collections
We’re working hard to keep all bin collections going, but we're experiencing significant disruption to services due to the impact on our staffing levels.
 
We have to prioritise the collection of black waste bins and green recycling bins and therefore will be stopping the collection of the following from week commencing 23 March:
  • ALL brown garden waste bins
  • glass collections
  • food waste caddies
In order to prevent transmission of the virus, personal waste (used tissues and cleaning cloths) should be:
  • stored separately to other waste
  • put in a rubbish bag
  • placed in a black sack
This should be tied and kept separate from other waste in the room/s if you are self-isolating. 

20 March

Licensing update - Private Hire (PH) and Hackney Carriage (HC) driver licences
There are some important changes for PH and HC driver licences including:
  • the closure of public counter provision
  • no provision for vehicle damage and repair checks – the online service for reporting any damage should be used instead
We'll also not be accepting any new grant applications for PH and HC driver licences. Driver knowledge tests will all be postponed until further notice and for DBS verification, documents should be scanned and sent directly to personnel checks.

20 March

Changes to Luton Council services and priorities
 
During this Covid-19 outbreak emergency our main priorities are:
  • protecting the most vulnerable people in Luton
  • ensuring  the health and safety of our residents and our staff
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and government guidance, we're now enacting our contingency plans.
 
See our main core service priorities and changes below.

20 March

Day care centre closures
 
To protect our vulnerable residents within the Older People Day Care service the decision has been made to close the following day care centres from Monday 23 March until further notice.
Alternative care provision will be provided for people who require support during this time. The following centres are affected:
  • Farley Day Centre, Jill Jenkins, Whipperley Ring, LU1 5QY
  • Colwell Court Day Centre, Colwell Rise, LU2 9TW
  • St Monica’s Day Centre, St Ives Close, LU3 1PP
  • Betty Dodd Court Day Centre, Grange Avenue LU4 9AS
  • Chaul End Day Centre, Dunstable Road  LU4 9QS

20 March

Planning enforcement investigations - reduced/delayed
 
The Planning Enforcement team have reduced and/or delayed their planning enforcement investigations.
 
They are still continuing with current casework and are looking into options that might enable them to carry out future investigations.

20 March

Luton Adult Learning - classroom based classes to end until further notice
 
From Monday 23 March, Luton Adult Learning will be no longer be holding face to face learningm which means they won’t be delivering classroom based classes or conducting exams until further notice.
 
They're in the process of looking for ways to deliver teaching online. Please email [email protected] or call  01582 490033 if you have any questions or concerns.

20 March

Reduced rail timetable agreed to protect train services and staff

The government has worked with rail operators to agree a reduction in rail service levels to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 Right pointing backhand index.

20 March

Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules: delivery of essential items to consumers

The government has announced a temporary relaxation of EU drivers’ hours from 00:01 on Friday 20 March 2020 until 23:59 on Friday 3 April 2020.

20 March

Business rates: expanded retail discount - guidance
 
If you're an eligible businesses, you'll be granted retail relief and should not pay your first instalment of the bill in April.

19 March

Mobile networks remove data charges for online NHS coronavirus advice
Free access to online NHS services will be available for as long as coronavirus (COVID-19) remains widespread in the UK.

19 March

Advice for business
We've published details of the package of measures to support businesses including statutory sick pay and business rates holiday.

19 March

Park events - coronavirus update
​Following advice from central government no public events can take place in Luton’s parks from now until further notice.

17 March

St. George's Day and VE Day notification of cancellation
We're disappointed to announce that the events planned to mark St George’s Day in April and VE Day 75 in early May will be postponed due to COVID-19. This includes the return of the Carnival to the town centre.

17 March 2020

Development Control Committee meeting - 25 March
Due to public interest in the Wandon Close agenda item and the ability of people to attend the meeting in person next Wednesday 25 March, the applicant has agreed to defer the consideration of this item to a future meeting of Development Control Committee, likely to be held in the next two months.
 
The remaining items on the March agenda will be considered at the meeting as scheduled.

17 March 2020

Some school closures have been announced. Check the coronvirus school closures page for updates.

16 March 2020

Dispose right waste in the right bin - do you know that any tissues and other sanitary products should be disposed in the black bins wrapped in bin bags?
 

13 March 2020

Bury park mosque in partnership with Luton Council, Public Health England and the Muslim Doctors Association organised #thebigawarenessday to inform the community about staying safe in a faith setting and minimising the risk of contracting the coronavirus.

10 March 2020

Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Gerry Taylor, talks about how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the video below.
 

Watch the video below or click here​ if it is not playing on your device.

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