COVID-19 restrictions are changing

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Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus update

COVID-19 restrictions are changing on Monday

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We have seen a welcome fall in cases in Central Bedfordshire and more and more people have been vaccinated. 

Sadly, there has been a significant increase in cases in Bedford, some of which are the new Variant of Concern (first identified in India). As many local residents work, visit or go to school in Bedford, we are urging everyone to be cautious and exercise common sense.

The Government has reported a rise in cases of the new Variant of Concern in several other parts of the country. There is no evidence that this variant is resistant to the vaccine but it does appear to be more transmissible.

The Government is going ahead with the next step in the Roadmap but has urged caution.

We must take this next step safely and continue to follow the guidance.

  • Get the vaccine as soon as you are eligible
  • Do twice weekly free rapid tests
  • And remember Hands Face Space Fresh Air.

Indoor hospitality

How the rules will change on Monday 17 May

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will change on 17 May. However, many restrictions remain in place and we must take this next step with caution.

You should continue to work from home if you can. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.

You should get a test and follow the stay at home guidance if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Gathering limits will be eased up to 30 people outdoors and 6 people or 2 households indoors.

New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. 

Indoor entertainment such as cinemas, theatres, museums and children’s indoor play areas will be permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.

You will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events, including live shows, sport and business events. 

Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen indoors.

Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all.

All holiday accommodation will be open.

Funeral attendance will no longer be limited to 30 people but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing.

Limits at weddings, wakes and other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will be increased to 30 people. 

Face coverings will no longer be needed in classrooms, or for students in communal areas, in secondary schools and colleges.

Care home residents will be able to have up to five named visitors, with two visitors able to attend at once provided they are tested and follow infection control measures. Residents will also have greater freedoms to leave their home without having to isolate on their return.

See the rules here.

Get a rapid test if you don't have symptoms

Everyone without symptoms can now get a free, rapid COVID-19 test. You can get a test and collect test kits to use at home from our test sites in Biggleswade, Flitwick, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard, from local pharmacies or online. Find out more here.

Rapid tests

COVID-19 useful information

Full information is available on our website.


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