West Berkshire Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for Residents

Like all councils we want to support our local communities as much as possible during the current coronavirus pandemic. On this page you can find information about about how local services are operating and the practical support we can offer to residents. 

This page was last updated on 13 July 2021


 Information on this page:

 Law on self-isolation has changed as of 16 August

 Prime Minister's statement on Step 4 of the Roadmap

 Step 4 Changes from 19 July

 Our Services Status from Step 4 (19 July)

 Household Waste & Recycling

 Customer Support

 Leisure, Libraries and Culture

 Further information about Covid

 Getting support

 Downloadable information

 Who to contact with any Covid concerns    


See also the following information on separate pages:

 Lateral Flow Testing in West Berkshire

 COVID-19 Vaccinations

 Community Support Hub

 Coronavirus Financial Support

 Our Local Outbreak Control Plan

 Local Contact Tracing

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

 Information for Businesses

 Coronavirus: Local Transport





Law on self-isolation has changed as of Monday, 16 August

From 16 August, anyone who has been identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case will no longer have to self-isolate, providing they've been fully vaccinated and aren't displaying any Covid-19 symptoms.

All close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible.

Double vaccinated people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected and are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limit contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still have to self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status or age.

Find out more.

Prime Minister's statement on Step 4 of the Roadmap

The Prime Minister held a press conference on Monday, 12 July, where he confirmed that England will move to Step 4 of the Roadmap on 19 July.

He also confirmed, however, that we are still in a pandemic and that we all need to remain vigilant, exercise caution, and get both doses of the Covid vaccine when offered. Current modelling suggests that COVID-19 cases will continue to rise as restrictions are eased. Hospitalisations, serious illness and deaths will also continue, albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme.

The following steps were announced:

  • On 19 July, most legal restrictions will end, removing social distancing and social contact restrictions and enabling remaining businesses to reopen

  • By the end of July, the government will publish an updated COVID-19 contain outbreak management framework for local areas

  • On 16 August, the rules on self-isolating as a contact will change for people who are fully vaccinated and for under 18s

  • From 19 July, fully vaccinated people returning to England from amber list countries will not need to quarantine.

  • In September, the government will undertake a review to assess the country's preparedness for autumn and winter, which will consider whether to continue or strengthen public and business guidance

The government is keeping in place a number of key protections including guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable, border quarantine, testing and encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings.

Government's announcement confirming move to Step 4

More details about moving to Step 4 of the Roadmap



Key safety messages that are continuing since we moved into Step 4

The Delta COVID-19 variant spreads more easily than the other variants that were previously most common. To help stop the spread, you should:

In addition:

  • Meet in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open.
  • Wear a face covering where you come into contact with people you don't normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.
  • Stay at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses onto friends, family, colleagues, and others in your community.
  • Consider individual risks, such as clinical vulnerabilities and vaccination status.


Step 4 - Changes from 19 July

From 19 July:

  • Large events such as music concerts and sporting events will be able to take place without capacity restrictions. Keep testing regularly to help manage your personal risk and protect others.
  • It is expected and recommended that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
  • There is no longer an instruction to work from home, but Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer. If you are in the office, open windows to let fresh air in.
  • All legal limits on the number of guests at life events such as weddings will be lifted. Keep testing regularly to help manage your personal risk and protect others.
  • Limits on social contact will be lifted. Consider limiting close contact with people you do not live with and open windows to let fresh air in.
  • In education, children will no longer need to be in consistent groups ('bubbles'). Asymptomatic testing in secondary schools and colleges will continue.
  • All remaining premises can reopen, including nightclubs. Continue using the NHS COVID-19 app to help contain the spread of the virus.

In addition:

  • You must still continue to self isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test & Trace.
  • Mild COVID-19 symptoms for you could make others seriously ill. Don't guess. Self-isolate and get a test.
  • When England moves to step 4 of the roadmap on 19 July, the government will continue to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus.

For more information, visit gov.uk/coronavirus.


Our Services Status for Step 4

Household waste and recycling

  • Rubbish and recycling collections -  All collections are running as normal. Please continue to put your bin and containers out by 6am.  Don't forget that we now collect rubbish and recycling on bank holidays. If your normal collection day falls over a bank holiday, please ensure that your bin or recycling containers are out by 6am that day.


  • Recycling Centres at Newbury and Padworth are open. To use one of our sites please make sure you book an appointment before you visit: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/clickandtip. Please follow social distancing rules while on site. Householders should only take waste to a recycling centre if it cannot be stored safely at home and no alternative disposal options are available. We are also trialling plastics recycling banks at four centres. See more information: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/recyclingPTT


Customer support

  • Council Office Buildings: You are welcome to continue to use our online service, or contact Customer Services Switchboard for support (see below), or visit the Council offices in person.  Our Market Street and West Street Reception will be open to the public from 8.30am - 5:00pm Mondays to Thursdays and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays. Please continue to wear face coverings, sanitise hands and maintain social distancing when you visit our receptions in order to keep everyone safe.


  • Customer Services Switchboard is open as usual from 8:30am and 5:00pm Mondays to Thursdays, and between 8:30am and 4:30pm on Fridays. The team can be contacted by email: customerservices@westberks.gov.uk or telephone: 01635 551111. Further details. 



  • Housing: If a customer is threatened with homelessness, or is experiencing homelessness now, please call the Duty Housing Team on 01635 519530 and select option 2 and for a housing register enquiry or a general housing enquiry please select option 1 to receive assistance. Alternatively, customers can send an email to housing@westberks.gov.uk regarding their housing circumstances or visit the office at Market Street during the normal working hours.
    • If a customer is homeless out of hours and needs urgent assistance, please call our Out of Hours Team on 01344 784543.


Leisure, Libraries and Culture

  • Most of our sports and leisure centres are reverting to normal operating hours from Monday, 17 May. Some exceptions may apply; please check the centre's website for details. Covid safety measures will continue to be in place, including wearing face coverings while moving around the centre and using the sanitising stations set in place. All activities (gym, classes and swimming) must now booked via the centres websites or by phoning the centre. This is to allow the sites to control the number of people within the building at any one time and to also allow a greater amount of time between sessions for cleaning. See more information, including links to our leisure centre websites.


  • West Berkshire Libraries buildings are open to the public. From 19 July, there will be no restrictions on the number of people visiting and a limited amount of study areas will be opened back up again. The time allowed for using a PC is extending to two hours. Please continue to wear face coverings, sanitise hands and maintain social distancing when you are in our libraries in order to keep everyone safe. Please check our website for details of opening times: www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries.

In addition from 19 July:

  • The Mobile Library will be able to allow people to come back on board the van.
  • The At Home service delivers books and audiobooks to people who are unable to collect books from a library because of age, disability or other special circumstance. To find out more about this service, please phone 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk.
  • Library members can enjoy choosing from an extensive collection of free e-books, e-magazines, e-newspapers and e-audiobooks. Simply download the BorrowBox, Libby and PressReader apps from the Apple app store or Google Play store, then search for West Berkshire Libraries and log in using your library card number and PIN. If you need help with this you are welcome to drop an email to our library staff, who will be happy to help: library@westberks.gov.uk.
  • Our online programme of activities for children and adults is continuing. Follow our social media for details. [@WBerksLibraries]









Further information about COVID

We must all continue to follow the guidance around HANDS + FACE + SPACE in order to keep West Berkshire safe 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 by the NHS test and trace service or a clinician.

Download the NHS Covid-19 App and protect your loved ones.  This app will also keep you updated on the latest government guidance and rules.

See also:

Getting support

If you are struggling and need help, please see our list of useful resources and the pdf icon Hub support poster COVID19 [237kb].  Please also visit our Covid-19 financial support page

If aren't able to find the information you need online, please get in touch with our Community Support Hub on: 01635 503579, by email: westberksbct@westberks.gov.uk or via our online form. 

Opening hours: 8:30am and 5:00pm Monday to Thursday, or between 8:30am and 4:30pm on Friday, except bank holidays. For out of hours emergencies, see details here. Keep in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the Newbury Weekly News website for community updates. 

Downloadable Information

We have also translated our Local Outbreak Control Plan (LOCP) leaflets in various languages. These can be found on our LOCP page

Who to contact for any COVID concerns

We all need to play our part in order to keep West Berkshire open and save lives. If you are concerned that a business is not adhering to COVID secure guidelines you can make contact with our environmental health team at the Public Protection Partnership here: https://publicprotectionpartnership.org.uk/covid-19 by email: ehadvice@westberks.gov.uk or telephone: 01635 503242.

If you are concerned about mass gatherings or residents not adhering to the rule of six you can contact the police by calling: 101 or online: https://www.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures.   

If you have concerns that someone has tested positive or is a close contact and is still attending work or school please email: CV19notification@westberks.gov.uk

Coronavirus: Car Parks
Information about the status of the council's car parks.
Coronavirus Support
Financial help for people affected by Covid-19
Local Contact Tracing
Community Testing in West Berkshire (Lateral Flow Testing - Rapid testing for Covid-19)
It's important to keep testing as one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it
COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine across Berkshire is administered by the NHS.
West Berkshire Council Coronavirus Weeknotes
Information about schools and the Early Years provision in West Berkshire.
Information about how Council Tax, benefits and Universal Credit are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, how to avoid scams and other financial help
Information about the status of the council's waste services.
Information about the status of the council's leisure, cultural and library services.
Information about the status of local transport, including buses
Information about the status of council meetings and functions