The NHS in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, in partnership with Public Health England, have put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
For the latest information, see www.gov.uk/coronavirus
National Lockdown – Stay at Home
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) have been placed into a national lockdown.
You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You should follow this guidance immediately. The law will be updated to reflect these new rules.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work
You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.
Further detailed guidance on the national lockdown is available on the government website here.
We can all help control the virus. There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:
- Wash hands – keep washing your hands regularly
- Cover face – wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
- Make space – stay at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions
This means you must:
- stay at home
- 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.
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
More information on what you can and can’t do is available here.
Advice for children
Bedfordshire hospitals have published a useful Coronavirus advice leaflet for parents, which includes information on where and how to seek help when your child is unwell.
Public Health England have created flowcharts describing what to do if you think your child is displaying symptoms of coronavirus in Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Luton. Please use the download links below for each area.
Guidance on social distancing and protecting people who are at high-risk is available here, which includes full guidance on staying at home and away from others, with translated versions in various languages.
The Government’s website also has guidance for staying safe outside your home.
If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, you can register online, whether or not you need support.
Please do not go to a GP surgery, walk-in centre, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these coronavirus symptoms.
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
More information on what to do if you have symptoms and have to self-isolate is available here.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home;
- your condition gets worse; or
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Everyone is being reminded to follow the Public Health England advice.
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
More information can be found on the NHS website.