Monthly column: Football might be coming home, but don’t let Coronavirus!

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Mayor Dave Hodgson

Is football coming home? Maybe, possibly, hopefully.

Massive congratulations to England, and Italy, Spain and Denmark, who have made it through to the semi-finals of Euro 2021 – I cannot bring myself to call it Euro 2020.

There are some huge matches this week with Italy vs Spain on Tuesday, England vs Denmark on Wednesday and then the Final on Sunday.

We will be flying the English flag at both Borough Hall and Town Hall ahead of Wednesday’s match.

There is also a chance to help our hospitality industry, which has had a very rough year if you are not watching the matches from home. A number of pubs and restaurants will be showing the games and have a number of Coronavirus precautions in place so you can enjoy the football safely and help the local economy at the same time.

There is a tantalising prospect of an England vs Italy final which would really be something, especially here in Bedford Borough with our large Italian community.

As football fever grips Bedford Borough we need to remember that Coronavirus is still present in our communities, especially the Delta variant.

After the quarter-finals, we saw much celebrating and judging by some of the photographs the ‘Hands Face Space’ advice was completely ignored.

I have seen some people on social media justifying celebrations here in Bedford Borough by comparing them to tens of thousands being at Wembley. Those at Wembley have had to show evidence of being low risk before they even got into the ground either with a negative Lateral Flow Test or proof of full vaccination.

I understand the passion and excitement, but we need to remember what we are dealing with. I don’t want to see a huge increase in cases in the next couple of weeks, so I have to urge restraint.

Please do enjoy the football this week, but do it sensibly. We have already seen the number of Coronavirus cases increasing in Bedford Borough in the last week.

You can see the latest Snapshot and latest advice here. The data from the week ending 27th June shows we have a rate of 116 cases per 100,000 of the population and it has increased since then.

However you watch the matches this week, please do it safely and protect yourself, your family and friends and your communities.

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson (Liberal Democrats).
It is published unedited and does not reflect the
views of the Bedford Independent.

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