West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for residents about the coronavirus pandemic

Like all councils we want to support our local communities as much as possible during the current coronavirus pandemic. Below we are sharing national advice and updating you on any council services which are affected.

Roadmap out of lockdown

The government has published the 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021' setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England . This explains how the restrictions included in this guidance will be lifted over time.

Step 2 - changes from 12 April

  • The following rules are in force until 12 am, 16 May

  • The following have been able to reopen from 12 April: non-essential retail, personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons, public buildings such as libraries and community centres, outdoor hospitality venues (table service only), and most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts)
  • Some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds can take place
  • Indoor leisure and sports facilities can reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • All childcare and supervised activities are allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events can take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens
  • Self-contained accommodation can open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • Care home residents can nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)
  • Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to 6 people or 2 households as in Step 1, and no indoor mixing will be allowed unless otherwise exempt.

    All open settings must abide by the social contact rules. The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. West Berkshire Council and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.




Step 3 - changes from 17 May

On Monday, 10 May, the Prime Minister confirmed the government's four tests for easing COVID-19 restrictions have been met and planned easements can go ahead from Monday, 17 May. 

This includes:

  • The reopening of indoor hospitality and indoor and outdoor entertainment, including cinemas, museums, children's play areas and outdoor performances.
  • Face coverings will no longer be required in classrooms, or for students in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges, and all remaining university students will be eligible to return to in-person teaching and learning.
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes. The number of people able to attend a funeral will be determined by the number that can be safely accommodated in the venue with social distancing in place.
  • The Stay in the UK restriction will be lifted and people will be able to travel to green list countries, if they permit inbound travel.

See more information on the rules for Step 3: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#how-the-rules-will-change-on-17-may

More restrictions eased for care homes in Step 3

The Government also announced on Monday, 10 May, that care home residents will be able to have more named visitors and more opportunities to make visits outside, with no need to self-isolate when they return.

As part of Step 3 of the roadmap, the number of named family members or friends able to visit care homes will be increased from two to five, with a maximum of two visitors allowed at any one time or on any given day.

Residents will also be able to go to medical appointments, a workplace, educational setting or day centre without having to self-isolate on their return. Updated guidance will be published in due course.

See more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-restrictions-eased-for-care-homes

Step 3
Step 3


Step 4 - not before 21 June

Step 4
Step 4


In implementing this plan the Government will be guided by data, not dates, so that we do not risk a surge in infections that would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS. For that reason, all the dates in the roadmap are indicative and subject to change. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the scientific data to reflect the changes in restrictions and to be analysed; followed by one week's advance notice of the restrictions that will be eased.

Only when the government is sure that it is safe to move from one step to the next will the final decision be made. The decision will be based on four tests:

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

The government will continue to protect the public by ensuring local outbreaks are managed quickly and effectively and that we combat new dangerous variants, both within the UK and at the border. The government will also continue to support families and businesses throughout the steps set out in the roadmap.

Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 have no symptoms, so will be spreading the virus without realising.

We must all stick to the rules and follow the guidance set out by the Government.

The law will be updated to reflect these new rules. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law - including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

We must all continue to follow the guidance around HANDS + FACE + SPACE + FRESH AIR in order to keep West Berkshire open and save lives. You must self-isolate and request a test if you are suffering any COVID-19 symptoms and also self-isolate if you are instructed to do so by the NHS Test and Trace service or a clinician.

We have separate sections for:

Information for Residents

Information for Businesses

Community Support Hub

Our Local Outbreak Control Plan

Weeknotes - Updates from the Leader and Chief Executive of the council

Local Contact Tracing

Community Support Hub

Anyone who needs support with food, finance, help to self-isolate or any other support, should get in contact with the Community Support Hub on: 01635 503579, by email: westberksbct@westberks.gov.uk or you can ask for help from our Community Support Hub service online

The Community Support Hub is open during office hours; call between 8:30am and 5:00pm Monday to Thursday, or between 8:30am and 4:30pm on Friday. For out of hours emergencies, please contact 01635 42161.


Keep in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the Newbury Weekly News website for community updates. 

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