After Luton, Bedford and Northampton now another neighbouring Bucks borough gets 'local lockdown' warning

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More towns not too far from Milton Keynes over the Bucks-Herts border have been handed a stark warning due to a rise in coronavirus infection rates.

Dacorum, which borders the Aylesbury Vale district connecting Milton Keynes and Hertfordshire, could go back into lockdown after rise of Covid cases in Hemel Hempstead.

Public health chiefs in Bucks's neighbouring county Hertfordshire are today warning there could be an imminent 'local lockdown' across Dacorum - following a rise in cases of Covid-19 around Hemel Hempstead.

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It comes after MK's neighbours Luton and Northampton both appeared on the government's national area of concern watchlist recently.

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It also follows Bedford's own prolonged battle to get its high infection rate under control, which sparked a ‘deep dive’ investigation from Public Health England (PHE) and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

MK had its own warning from council leader Pete Marland recently.

He told the MK Citizen in mid-August that it was 'highly likely' fresh lockdown restrictions would be imposed in Milton Keynes if Covid-19 cases continued to rise - read full story here.

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Now Cllr Tim Hutchings - the executive member for public health at Bucks's neighbouring authority, Herts County Council - says there has been a "significant" number of positive Covid-19 cases across the Dacorum borough - with a specific rise in Hemel Hempstead.

And he says existing self-isolation measures and testing have NOT contained an outbreak amongst young people focussed on a small number of pubs and cafes in Tring and Berkhamsted.

Now he has appealed to residents in the Dacorum borough to "pay really close attention" to this serious issue, in order to prevent a local lockdown.

And he stresses that those who think they may have been in contact with someone with Covid-19 should self-isolate for 14 days.

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Meanwhile cafes and restaurants across Dacorum have been warned of the imminent threat to their businesses of a local lockdown, if they don't stringently follow existing guidance.

And that guidance includes keeping contact details of all customers.

In a statement, issued on Wednesday (September 2) the county council's executive member for public health Cllr Tim Hutchings said: “We can confirm there are a significant number of positive COVID-19 cases across the Dacorum area – with a specific rise of cases in Hemel Hempstead.

“Existing self-isolation and testing measures have not been effective at managing to contain this local outbreak amongst the original group of young people (17-19yrs olds) in a small number of pubs and cafes in the Tring and Berkhamsted area.

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"This has raised a few specific issues including: the importance continuing to self-isolate if they are a known contact (even if they have recently tested negative).

“We now need all residents in Dacorum to pay really close attention to this serious issue of the spread of COVID-19 within the local community.

"Specifically, if you think that you may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 you should self-isolate for 14 days. If you are feeling unwell, you should call 119 or book a test at

Officials from Hertfordshire County Council and Dacorim Borough Council are now monitoring Covid-19 cases in Dacorum daily.

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And based on that they will decide whether to enact local powers, which could include a local lockdown.

Trading standards officers will now be ramping up their spot checks on licensed premises in the borough . And Hertfordshire Police will be using their enforcement powers at unlawful events.

Meanwhile greater 'surge capacity' for contact tracing has been put in place, with environmental health officers taking on priority cases, in addition to the national test and trace.

And every 'significant contact' of an infected person who needs to self-isolate will be given clearer written guidance on what they must do to comply with Public Health England advice.

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There will be twice weekly mobile testing sites in Hemel Hempstead.

If you think that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are feeling unwell, you should visit or call 119 for more information.