The threat of Bedford Borough emerging from the latest lockdown straight into Tier 2 restrictions is a very real possibility, based on current COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection rates.
The existing restrictions run until the 2 December, after which it is expected that the country will return to the approach of medium, high, and very high localised tiers.
When we entered the latest lockdown, Bedford was placed in the lowest tier – medium.
Bedford Borough Council is now calling on residents and businesses across Bedford to do everything they can to drive down infection rates and avoid higher local restrictions in December.
“We all want to get back to normal as soon as possible, with local shops, pubs and restaurants able to re-open and looking forward to a safe and busy Christmas period,” said Mayor Dave Hodgson.
“We all have a part to play if we are going to achieve this.”
Currently national restrictions in place have forced multiple businesses to close.
For restaurants, cafes, pubs, hairdressers, barbers, music venues, theatres and non-essential shops to reopen in early December, everyone in the town is being urged to play their part to limit the spread of infections.
“Hands, Face, Space”
Residents are asked to stay home and limit their contact with people, other than those they live with or have formed a social bubble with.
This limits the contact you have with others and therefore limits the opportunity for the virus to spread.
If you do have to go out, the advice is to follow the “hands, face, space” advice to help lower the infection rate and reduce the threat of further restrictions.
Rise in infections and hospitalisations
A major rise in the number of people testing positive, and more people hospitalised with COVID-19 in Bedford, may see Bedford Borough placed in the high or very high tier at the end of the national lockdown, unless urgent action is taken to stop the spread.
As of Wednesday 11 November, there were 66 people in Bedford Hospital being treated for COVID-19.
That is a a sixteen fold increase since mid-October, when four patients were reported to be in hospital.
“We all need to continue to take action to reduce the spread of the virus or we could see further restrictions in place locally affecting what we do and who we are able to meet up with,” added the Mayor.
“Going into the national restrictions Bedford Borough had been rated as medium, with the lowest level of restrictions.
“Cases have continued to rise locally since then and the number of people in Bedford Hospital with coronavirus has reached an all-time high.
“We all need to play our part to drive the infection rate down to protect our friends, family and our community.”