Press Release – 23 July 2020

Luton North MP Sarah Owen demands assurances amidst local lockdown threat

Luton North MP Sarah Owen has today demanded a plan and the funding needed from government to get the town through a potential local lockdown, as Luton enters the top ten for coronavirus infection rate following a rise in cases over the last few days.

In an urgent letter to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Ms Owen demanded a series of assurances on testing, powers and funding for local decision makers and Luton businesses who are still recovering from the initial lockdown.

Although it does not appear the government has published its trigger for going into or out of lockdown, the main measure seems to be number of infections per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

13 new instances of coronavirus have been confirmed in Luton over the past 24 hours, according to Public Health England, bringing the total to 1,519. This follows five new cases which were added yesterday (Tuesday), two on Monday, and a peak of 34 over the weekend. Luton’s infection rate is 709.5 per 100,000, the 10th highest in England.

The Luton North MP will today meet with Council officials to discuss the developing situation and still hopes that the town’s rising R rate can be put under control and a local lockdown can be avoided.

Luton North Labour MP Sarah Owen commented:

“I really hope we can avoid a local lockdown in Luton.”

“As our rate of infection increases locally, people are worried and need reassurance from government. When we look to Leicester’s local lockdown, the right support from central government has not been in place for local people.”

“We need more testing, more support for business and more support for local public health experts to help beat this virus.”

“I continue to be emphatic in encouraging people to follow covid-19 guidance as closely as they can: wash your hands regularly, get tested if you can, maintain social distancing, don’t meet in large groups, wear a mask when you’re out and self-isolate if you think you have symptoms.”