Skip to main content

Latest Coronavirus update

General Coronavirus advice and updates 

Due to the current situation and the changes that are happening daily, we cannot be held responsible for the external information on this page that changes without our notice.

For information and updates on keeping safe, and current Council and Central Government advice and resources, visit the Bedford Borough coronavirus information page.


National Lockdown January 2021

National lockdown

From 5 January (today), England is in lockdown with restrictions explained at

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely – expected to be until February half term at least. Early Years settings remain open.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local.  You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work

If you do need to go out, please keep your distance from other people (at least 2m where possible), wash your hands regularly, wear a mask where needed, and self-isolate and get a test if you have symptoms.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you have any of these symptoms please self-isolate and get a test. Anyone you live with or in your ‘support bubble’ will need to isolate and be tested too.

Keep up to date on on COVID-19 Further information:

Bedford Borough Council Coronavirus information including 8th January 2021 Parent/Carers FAQ regarding Covid-19

8th January 2021 Parent/Carers FAQ regarding Covid-19

Further to our update on Tuesday, we have been working to gather the most Frequently Asked Questions from parents and carers of children with SEND regarding Covid-19.

You can see the FAQ document here

Bedford Borough Council

The Council Coronavirus pages can be accessed here 

Bedford Borough Council facebook

Bedford Borough Twitter account

Bedford Borough Community Hub find out about the relaunched community hub here

Bedford Borough – Carers Support during COVID-19

Adult Social Care (ASC) published a range of information about service changes and new developments in the first lockdown which is available here

Carers in Bedfordshire

Carers in Bedfordshire is a not-for-profit registered charity providing support for carers of family members and friends throughout Bedfordshire  visit their website here 


Educational Resources

BBC Television showing primary and secondary programming every weekday from Monday 11th of January 

CBBC  will include three hours of primary school programming every weekday starting at 9am.

BBC2 will screen at least two hours for secondary pupils on BBC Two.

Carch up will be avialable on the


Sydney Aquarium Tank TV Penguin Live Stream

Dublin Zoo African Savannah Web Cam

Dublin Zoo Elephant Web Cam

Chester Zoo Live Tour Catch Up

Longleat Safari Park Virtual Tour African Animals Live webcams Live Gorilla Live Cam Kitten Sanctuary Live Cam

Ranger Stu’s Virtual Zoo

New England Aquarium

National Marine Aquarium

Tropical Reef Live

Live Meerkat Cam (Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens)

Live Penguin Cam (Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens)

National Marine Institute Shark Feeding

Chester Zoo Asian Elephants Virtual Day


Natural History Museum - Try at Home

Natural History Museum - Dippy on Tour Lessons

Natural History Museum - T-Rex Origami

Natural History Museum - Am I A Dinosaur Quiz

Natural History Museum - Draw a T-Rex

Natural History Museum - Make a hatching Dinosaur

Natural History Museum - How are fossils formed?

Natural History Museum - Dippy the Dinosaur 3D Skull

Natural History Museum - Make your own Dippy Skull

Free Printable's from Activity Village


National Trusts 50 things to do before 11 3/4

Maddie and Greg Let’s Go Live

Kew Gardens Virtual Tours

Natural History Museum Nature Live Sessions

US National Park Tour

Sunrise Safari Live

Steve Backshall Q&As

WildLife Trusts - Things to do at home

How to identify Bees

Make a bird feeder

How to make a birds nest

Make a Glow Worm

Make a Hedgehog Home

Make a rain stick

Make an edible pond

How to identify Butterflies and Moths

National Trust 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4

Chester Zoo Endangered Species Game


5 Week free course on Ancient Rome

6 Week free course on the Tudors

Women in History with English Heritage

Horrible Histories Hard as Nails game

Horrible Histories

Historic Monuments with English Heritage

Medieval castles with English Heritage


Kids Jedi Workout

Captain America Kids Workout

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Joe Wicks PE for Kids

Oti Mabuse Dance Lesson

Trolls themed Yoga


Next Book Finder


DK Online Video Library

Learning Resources UK Worksheets

BBC Bitesize Primary

BBC Bitesize Secondary

TED Ed Videos

STEM Resources

STEM Primary Maths

STEM Primary Science

STEM Primary Computing

Maddie Moate Let's Go Live!

Homeschool with Konnie Huq

Dyson Science and Engineering Challenges

Orchard Toys activity sheets

Makaton Music Videos

Google Arts and Culture Tours

Harry Potter (A History of Magic tour)

The Maths Factor

Tiny Happy People (BBC)

The Shed School KS1

English with Holly

The Dad Lab science experiments


Make a plant Maze

National Geographic

Solutions and Density

Make a volcano

Make instant Ice Cream


BBC Bitesize Primary age games

Cards Against Humanity Family Edition

Online Egyptian Escape Room


NASA - Galaxy of Horrors

See a Satellite

Stories Read by Astronauts in Space

Live feed from the International Space Station

Star Gazing tips


Guitar Lessons with James Bay

Royal Opera House Create and Learn

Makaton CarPark Karaoke


Make a basking shark from a bottle

Learn about Salvador Dali

Make a sunset box with TATE Kids

Things to make with TATE Kids

Scouts The Great Indoors Challenges

Go On A Colour Walk

Drawing with Rob

shopDisney Arts and Crafts

Aardman Animations Aards and Craft series

Learn about Pop Art

Wallace and Gromit downloads and activities

Boden Mini Missions

Drawing with Wendy Mac

Lego Lifeforms Event with Natural History Museum

Latest Covid news

19th January 2021 

Covid Vaccine easy read leaflet -


Pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and community care settings new easy read guide now available called Using a pulse oximeter to check you are ok:


National lockdown: stay at home easy read


14th January 2021 

Goverment guidance published special schools, specialist post-16 providers, and alternative schools (including hospital schools) during the national lockdown period. It should be read alongside the main guidance document: Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools and the Further education guidance for restricting attendance during the national lockdown, which covers the main operational issues.

The National Lockdown Guidance was updated again today, 13th January:

The Government published its vaccine delivery plan on Monday 11th January and has been updated today, 13th January:

Guidance on shielding and protecting clinically extremely vulnerable people was updated on 11th January and again today, 13th January:

Government guidance for children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access school/college (and other educational settings) was updated on 8th January:

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has published new advice today about the priority groups for vaccination:

You can read about the second new variant (identified in South Africa) here:

Information about the (first) new Covid-19 variant was published on 20th December (Public Health England) 

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19, (includes guidance for children who were shielding previously) 



For the latest NHS advice and guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic please click here

Getting out for exercise - Parks and open spaces

Addison Park

Bedford Park


Bedford Priory Marina


Harrold-Odell Country Park

Mowsbury Park and woods

Russell Park

The Embankment free unlimited parking at Aspects Leisure park at the top of the Embankment


Walk/Bike ride to the Danish Camp which is currently closed  from Priory Marina

Free parking at Aspects or Priory Marina 

Follow signs from the entrance to the marina turn first left by the recycling facilities and follow that road and you pick up the path as you walk/ride over the bridge.

Support for Adults with Wellbeing

24 hour urgent mental health assessment hub in Bedford

Bedfordshire Recovery College 

Bedfordshire and Luton Recovery College is part of the Bedfordshire Mental Health Academy which is a formal partnership with East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and the University of Bedfordshire.  

All of our online courses are FREE of CHARGE

Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service

You can self refer yourself via email:

Or you can use this secure online form

Calm: Movement against suicide. Free, confidential helpline 0800 58 58 58 & webchat, 5pm to midday daily. 

MIND  - Coronavirus and your wellbeing, by Mind UK:

5 ways to wellbeing, by Mindkit:

Mental Health organisations helplines 

A list of mental health organisations are available here

NHS Every Mind Matters website has loads of useful advice and there are helplines if you need someone to talk to

Samaritans: Free helpline is available round the clock on 116 123

Shout 85258: Anxious? Worried? Stressed? Feeling low? Text Shout to 85258 for free 24/7 support in the UK.

Supporting mental wellbeing resources and apps

An information guide has been compiled to bring together resources and phone apps that may be useful to maintain mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond. To view click here


Support for Children/Young People wellbeing

Mental health support for children and young people 

Bedford Borough Early Help 

Early help is about taking action early and as soon as possible to tackle problems emerging for children, young people and their families.  The Bedford Borough Early Help guide  provides information on a wide range of services in Bedford Borough for children, young people and families. This includes sources of support, childcare, children's centres and children's activities.

Bedford Borough Educational Psychology Team Drop in Slots 

The Team are offering 30 minute virtual drop in slots to offer parents/carers of children/young people who attend schools that buy back this service*, advice and guidance on their child/young person’s wellbeing during lockdown. The Drop Ins will commence Monday 11th January from 9am – 11am and will run daily.

To book a 30-minute slot please email detailing your name, telephone number, child’s school and brief description of query/advice needed. We will email back with forthcoming available slots for parents to book.

*All schools apart from the 4 below buy back.  If you child/young person attends one of the 4 schools please contact your school for support.

Biddenham International School and Sports College

Goldington Green Academy

Goldington Academy

Putnoe Primary School

Bedford Open Door

Provides  young people in Bedford aged 13 to 25, 12 sessions of FREE, confidential telephone or online counselling with one of our friendly, experienced counsellors.

Calm: Movement against suicide. Free, confidential helpline 0800 58 58 58 & webchat, 5pm to midday daily. 

ChildLine provides a confidential helpline for any child with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects.

You can:

FREE Online Exercise Session for Young People - replacing young minds yoga at John Bunyan Sports and Fitness Coronavirus

Goverment guidance on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing published 29 March 2020 and last updated  on the 16th October 2020

Kooth FREE online counselling and emotional well-being service for children and young people aged 11 -24 who live in Bedford Borough further details here

MIND Supporting your teen's wellbeing during coronavirus

Information for parents and carers of young people aged 11-18 who are worried about their child's wellbeing, and want to know how to support them click here

North Bedford Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Young people or parents/carers who live in Bedford Borough can now self-refer to the North Bedfordshire CAMHS service by completeing the CAMHS Self Referral form  

Parentline Bedfordshire - service from Bedfordshire Community Health Services 

Parentline is a secure and confidential text service for parents and carers of those aged 0-19. It offers advice and support on a range of issues such as sleep and emotional health or how to make an appointment with our team. This is also a great mechanism to find out how to access other local services.

Simply text 07507 331456 with your question to start the conversation – our team will be there to answer your queries from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Place 2 Be: (for young ages) Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity with over 25 years’ experience working with pupils, families and staff in UK schools. 

Rise Above is a digital resource developed to address health challenges, including COVID-19, in a way that resonates with young people. It offers a digital hub providing young people with a safe and inspiring space where they can learn how to deal with the issues that matter to them and build their resilience and confidence.

Royal Society of Psychiatry, resources for young people and parents

Samaritans: Free helpline is available round the clock on 116 123.

Shout 85258: Anxious? Worried? Stressed? Feeling low? Text Shout to 85258 for free 24/7 support in the UK.

Student Space: One-to-one support for whatever challenge you’re facing, designed for students. Whether it’s your mental health, your studies, money, housing or relationships, we’re here to support you. 

Support for pupils and students

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has produced a practical guide to supporting pupils and students during periods of disruption, which looks at how to support children and young people’s mental health with a focus on anxiety.

View guide here

The Mix

The Mix provides a free confidential helpline and online service that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem.

You can:

YMCA Mental Health Top time to be well during lockdown 

This guide was written for the first lockdown however still lots of tips and ideas

Young Minds  

Provides advice about mental health and behaviour problems in children and young people up to the age of 25. You can call the Parents’ and Carers’ Helpline on 0808 802 5544. Please be aware Young Minds do not provide any direct psychological services and cannot make referrals to the NHS or Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS).

Support for people with Learning Disabilities

Wellbeing Videos for people with Learning Disabilities 

Anxiety and the body:                                                                                                                                              

Five things to do when feeling anxious:

Five seconds breathing exercise:

Balloon breathing exercise:

Breathing exercise using your imagination:

Explaining mindfulness and the 5 things exercise:

My relaxing place exercise:

Advise for people with learning disabilities

A really good Learning Disability  guide on staying safe.  It builds on the initial introduction we have all seen already in other guides and explains more about how things are now and has suggestions for activities, wellbeing and even what to do if you are out and get stopped by the police

Mencap Coronavirus: Help to stay safe and well

Information about how to keep safe and well during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including guidance around social distancing and face coverings.

Coronavirus: Guidance to help you stay safe and well

Easy read guide from Mencap explaining what may happen if you have to go to hospital:

What may happen if I have to go to hospital because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

What may happen if someone I know has to go to hospital because of coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Here are the web pages Learning Disability England (LDE) are developing to share information and resources about the virus and what you can to do to stay safe and well, and how people are staying connected and finding solutions

Easy read version of the Government's coronavirus leaflet, click here Easy Read Online 

Useful Links

Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings

Updated from 2nd December 2020 - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Minister Ford open letter to the SEND Sector dated the 9th of November 

The letter can be read here

Department of Education helpline 

The Department for Education has a Coronavirus helpline for education and children's social care related queries, which is available to anyone working in the sector, as well as parents.

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.


CDC have been asked to pull together resources and to respond to
frequently asked questions, the link is here:

Frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found

 Talking to children about Coronavirus

I have a question about coronavirus, illustrated picture story 

A free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler was released on Monday the 6th of April, you can view it here 

Advice on talking to children about Coronavirus, by British Psychological Society:

How to talk to your child about coronavirus, by Unicef:

Child-friendly explanation of Coronavirus for Primary age students:

Information video on Coronavirus for Primary age children (KS2), by Brainpop:

Information video on Coronavirus for older children/adults, by WHO:

A website to prepare families for admission to hospital of their loved ones.

It is really important to be organised and we hope that the information below will help you.



Behaviour management




Support groups and forums

Mental health support for children and teenagers

FREE tool to measure Children/Young People feet

For new shoes click here

Local Offer Social Media

Local Offer Facebook page 

The local offer facebook page can be accessed here

Local Offer Instagram page 

You can follow us on Instagram here 

Local Offer Twitter Account 

Our twitter handle is @Bedfordlocalof1 

FREE Online Exercise offered by Bedford Borough

No Limits Sports Zone - FREE ONLINE Saturdays Dance class 10am to 11am

No Limits Sports Zone - FREE ONLINE Movement to Music Thursday 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Bedford Borough Sports Developement Team has arranged a range of FREE online classes including Tai-Chi, Yoga and gentle exercise

FREE Online Exercise Session for Young People - replacing young minds yoga at John Bunyan Sports and Fitness Coronavirus