Sunday 29th March 2020
Welcome to Luton.gov.uk
A-Z of services
Text size
A A A

Recent coronavirus updates

Sub heading

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 Reducation 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 2030

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.

 ​​

Contact us
rating button