The important message to anyone planning to visit Bedford, Luton or Northampton from Milton Keynes

    Milton Keynes Council Leader Peter Marland is advising city residents to consider if any journeys to nearby Bedford, Luton or Northampton are 'avoidable' due to higher rates of coronavirus in these areas.

    Speaking in his weekly video update, Mr Marland said: "I am advising that if you do need to make trips to those areas, consider if they are avoidable."

    "If you have to travel, please be extra cautious and follow all social distancing measures that are in place there."

    "Stay strictly two metres apart from others, wash your hands on a regular basis and avoid spending time indoors with those outside your social bubble - and wear a mask if you do."

    Mr Marland revealed that our infection rate is currently 2.6 per 100,000 population, which is a small increase on the extremely low numbers last week but in line with the overall low numbers this month.

    For comparison, the figure is 15.7 per 100,000 population in Bedford and 19.1 per 100,000 population in Luton.

    The infection rate in the general population in Milton Keynes is low and the infection rate in care homes and hospitals is very low.

    But in Luton, amenities have not re-opened as they have nationally, play areas remain closed and people are being asked to follow stricter social distancing guidelines.

    Meanwhile in Bedford, some leisure facilities remain closed - whilst in Northampton, there is additional testing taking place and "local lockdown measures are being considered".

    The total number of coronavirus tests carried out in Milton Keynes during the past fortnight is 2,960 and the number of positive cases was 9.

    Mr Marland said that the risk in Milton Keynes remains moderate, but the infection rate can rise quickly.

    People are being urged to continue to follow all coronavirus guidelines to continue to keep the rates low in our city.

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