People are told that they can travel normally to and from the Bedford and North Bedfordshire area despite the spread of the Indian variant of the coronavirus.
New government guidelines had been issued for eight regions in England, including the region of Bedford Borough, which is more difficult than the rest of the region.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the council said travel to and from the Bedford area was fine and could continue as normal, although this contradicted guidelines on the government website.
Bedford City Council said in a statement Tuesday afternoon: ‘Following national coverage of the recently revised guidelines, we have met with national officials and confirmed that there are no restrictions on travel to the inside or outside the borough of Bedford: there is no local lock ”
Later, the Department of Health and Welfare said the guidelines for the eight hotspots of India’s Covid-19 variant were to be updated to “clarify that we are not imposing local restrictions.”
A government spokesperson said: “We will update the guidelines for areas where the new Covid-19 variant is spreading to clarify that we are not imposing local restrictions.
“Instead, we’re providing advice on additional precautions people can take to protect themselves and others in areas where the new variant is prevalent.
“This includes, where possible, trying to meet outside rather than inside, keeping two meters away from anyone you don’t live with and minimizing movement in and out of. The area.
“These are not new regulations, but these are some of the ways that anyone can help to master the variant in their region. “
Bedford Council said: “In areas where the new COVID variant is spreading, we are all working together to boost testing and vaccination and to support self-isolation. all followed throughout the pandemic ”
“We will continue to share this and work with national officials to make sure people understand what to think about as they go. on their daily life ”
Bedford has the third highest rate of coronavirus cases in England after Bolton and Blackburn. There were 323 cases in Bedford in the week to May 20, or 186 cases per 100,000. This is the region’s highest level of infection since mid-February.
The region of Bedford Borough is larger than the town of Bedford and covers most of northern Bedfordshire, which borders with Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Milton Keynes.
It covers an area of 184 square miles with a population of over 170,000 people.
Advice for Bedford and the other seven areas on the government’s official coronavirus website still indicated that essential travel was only.
The guidelines still said at 8 p.m. Tuesday that, whenever possible, people should try to:
Go outside rather than inside when possible
Stay 2 meters from people outside your home support bubble, including friends and family you don’t live with
Avoid traveling in or out of affected areas unless it is essential, for example for work (if you cannot work from home) or for studies
Get tested for free twice a week and isolate yourself if you are positive
Continue to work from home if you can
Get vaccinated when offered and encourage others to do so too
A government spokesperson said: “Together with local authorities, we have taken swift and decisive action to slow the spread of B1.617.2 (India) variant by introducing surge testing and offering second doses. vaccine for the most vulnerable ”.
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