West Berkshire will be in the high tier of restrictions when lockdown ends next week.
Under the post-lockdown arrangements the Government has placed each region in one of three tiers – medium, high or very high. The tiers are based on the prevalence of coronavirus in a region, and introduce varying degrees of restrictions to help combat the virus.
The local region includes West Berkshire along with Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, and Windsor and Maidenhead. This region will move into the high tier from Wednesday 2nd December. Under the high tier:
- There is no mixing of households indoors, apart from support bubbles. A maximum of six people can meet outdoors
- Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressers) will all reopen
- Pubs and bars must close, unless they are operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. Last orders will be taken at 10pm, and venues must close by 11pm
- People should minimise travel and work from home where possible
- Schools, colleges, university and early years settings will be open
You can also stay up-to-date on restrictions where you live using this postcode finder.
As well as the specific restrictions outlined above, residents should continue to follow the “hands, face, space” advice to help reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
Tiers will be reviewed every two weeks with regions moving to more or less severe restrictions, or staying as they are, depending on factors such as transmission rates and how local services are coping.
West Berkshire Council is continuing to provide support to residents and businesses who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus restrictions. Later today, the Council will announce details of a new Winter Hardship Grant Fund and which opens for applications next week.
Support is also available for businesses affected by the restrictions put in place.
- A Local Restrictions Support Grant is in place for businesses who have been forced to close.
- An Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary payment for businesses who have been affected by the restrictions and which has not received other grant payments and require further assistance.
Speaking about the latest developments, the Leader of West Berkshire Council Lynne Doherty said: “I am pleased that we are moving out of lockdown, but recognise the move into a higher tier than we were originally in will come as a disappointment to many. We still face tightened restrictions as we seek to reduce coronavirus cases in our communities. We’ve been living with coronavirus for eight months now and it’s as important as ever that we all continue to follow these restrictions to help to keep us all safe. I know it will be difficult not being able to mix indoors with others, but would ask for your continued patience as we move towards the Christmas period and then the roll out of a vaccine that will hopefully start to see life return to normal.
“We know some residents who have been affected by coronavirus will need extra support with food and household bills this winter. We’ve created a Winter Hardship Fund which will provide help to those who need it most. The last thing we want is for people to be struggling in silence so if you need some help do please get in touch.”
“It will be disappointing to some businesses that we are to go into a high tier. We know it has been an incredibly difficult year for businesses and we will continue to support them through it. Grants are available to businesses which need help, and we will offer all the support we can.”
Residents have been receiving leaflets through the post this week with information about the support available to local residents, useful contacts and local arrangements for contact tracing. It also included information about the different tiers, which were correct at the time of posting. Since then these tiers and have changed and residents are asked to follow the amended tiered restrictions as set out here.
You can find out more information about the latest advice in West Berkshire, and information about local coronavirus cases, on the Public Health for Berkshire website.