Following the government’s announcement to end all legal Covid restrictions, Luton’s Director of Public Health, Sally Cartwright, and portfolio holder for public health, Cllr Khtija Malik, are urging residents to remain cautious, to keep elderly and vulnerable people safe.
Sally Cartwright said: “We are in a much stronger position now thanks to the vaccination programme. However, as we now move to a position where we all need to live with Covid, it is vitally important that we continue to all do what we can to keep Luton safe, slow the spread of the virus and protect those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19, who are at risk of becoming seriously ill.
“Covid is still very much with us, and the very best defence and protection to tackle this disease is to get vaccinated. There is no need to book an appointment, you can grab a jab from our daily walk-in opportunities at our Redgrave Centre or at the Old Post Office in The Mall. And from 23 February until Sunday 27 February there will be a vaccination van outside Sainsbury’s, 34 Dunstable Road, Bury Park, open from 10.30am to 5.30pm for anyone needing a first, second or booster jab. You can also book a free taxi to take you to and from a vaccination centre or walk-in site.
“If you have any concerns about the vaccinations please speak to your GP, local pharmacy or get in touch with our Covid re-assurers who are on hand at our vaccinations sites as well as out in the community. They can advise you on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines and answer any doubts, questions or apprehensions you may have as well as direct you to trustworthy resources of information.”
Here’s a reminder of the actions you can take to help slow the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable people in our town:
>let fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meet outside
>wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces
>take a test if you’re displaying Covid-19 symptoms, and stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you test positive
>wash your hands regularly
Cllr Khtija Malik added: “We still have thousands of people in the town who have not yet had their first vaccination dose. Please step forward now to protect yourself and keep your loved ones safe. And I would urge everyone to continue to test regularly, especially if you are meeting up with vulnerable family members, friends or attending your place of work or places of worship. Together we can continue to keep Luton safe.”
The government’s living with Covid plan, removes twice weekly testing for children and staff attending educational settings from 22 February. And from Thursday, 24 February:
> adults and children who test positive will be advised to self-isolate but the legal requirement to do so will end
> vaccinated contacts of positive cases will no longer be asked to test for seven days
> ending of the legal requirement for close contacts who are not vaccinated to self-isolate
> routine contact tracing will cease
In addition, free testing for the general public and guidance for voluntary COVID-status certification for certain venues will end from 1 April.