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.

We're updating our website with guidance and updates for residents and businesses - 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 1b - changes from  29 March

From Monday, 29 March, the Stay at Home rule will be lifted. Where possible, you should continue to work from home and minimise the number of journeys you make. 

People will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, although people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. This will apply in all outdoor settings, including private gardens. 

All children will be able to access any outdoor childcare and supervised activities. Parent and child groups can also take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees. Outdoor sports facilities will also reopen for use.

Holidays abroad will not be allowed. Overnight stays are not permitted and domestic and international holidays are not allowed at this time.

From 29 March, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will still be able to proceed with 6 people only but will no longer be limited to exceptional circumstances.

Step 1 v2
Step 1 v2

Step 2 - changes from 12 April

  • non-essential retail will be able to reopen
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen
  • public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen
  • outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen
  • some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • all childcare and supervised activities will be 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 will be able to 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 will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)

Social contact rules in England will not change further at this point. 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 newly 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 2
Step 2

Step 3 - not before 17 May

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 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.

If you are a critical or keyworker who does not have Covid-19 symptoms, please click here to book a lateral flow test at one of four testing sites. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, please do not book a lateral flow test, call 119 or go online to the National Booking Service to book a coronavirus test.


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. 

You can now receive updates on information, advice and support relating to coronavirus straight to your inbox. Sign up to the e-bulletin here.