Milton Keynes Council leader warns of rising coronavirus cases and potentially 'inevitable' further restrictions

    Milton Keynes Council has today warned of "worrying trends" as 40 people have tested positive for coronavirus in a single day.

    In the past two weeks, 291 people have tested positive for COVID-19 locally, taking the total number of cases to 62.7 per 100,000 population, which is slightly lower compared to Luton and Bedford. 

    But Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of the Council, has today (16/10) addressed the news that early indications show "worrying trends" after more people are testing positive. 

    He adds that "if this rate of increase in our numbers continues unchecked, it is inevitable that we will enter a higher alert level and further restrictions will be imposed."

    Currently, Milton Keynes is in the first tier of coronavirus restrictions - medium - meaning that there are no changes to the rules. This means that the rule of six continues, while schools, businesses, and places of worship can remain open in a COVID-secure manner while hospitality venues close to customers at 10 pm. 

    But if cases drastically rise then the risk level could increase and more restrictions could be introduced. Lancashire, which has moved to tier three, for example, will see a ban on households mixing indoors while bars and restaurants will close unless they serve "substantial meals". 

    Cllr Marland has issued advice to residents to help prevent the possibility of this happening in Milton Keynes. He continued: "The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to reduce mixing between households and support bubbles. I know this is a hard thing to do and we enjoy the company of family and friends. However, but by thinking about if you can space out any contact or think about if you can stay in contact with people in other ways, such as a video call, then it will help. 

    "Obviously, complying with the rule of six and following the basic guidance of hands, face, and space continues to be essential in all situations."

    He concluded: "Thank you for everything you're doing to help keep Milton Keynes safe. We've faced tough times already this year and have made huge sacrifices. We now face a difficult period ahead, but by sticking together, we are helping the most vulnerable and protecting the NHS. The alternative would still be far worse than where we are."

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