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

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 15 June 2021.

Step 4 of the roadmap delayed for four weeks: Step 3 restrictions remain in place

On Monday, 14 June 2021, the Prime Minister gave a statement on coronavirus and confirmed a four-week delay to Step 4 of the government's roadmap until 19 July due to concerns caused by the Delta variant and to allow for more people to receive their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before further easing of restrictions takes place.

However, more than 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes from 21 June. The number of people able to attend such events will be determined by the number that can be safely accommodated in the venue with social distancing in place.

From 21 June, there will also be changes to the rules on large events pilots, care home visits, and domestic residential visits for children.

The Prime Minister provided an update on the vaccination programme and confirmed that vaccination greatly reduces transmission and two doses provide a very high degree of protection against serious illness and death. He also confirmed that the government will bring forward second doses of vaccines for over-40s and the clinically vulnerable groups from 12 weeks to eight weeks. He added that the government has set an earlier target to give every adult in this country a first dose by 19 July, that is including young people over the age of 18 with the online vaccination booking system available to 23 and 24 year olds from 15 June.

The proposed extension will be reviewed to see if action can be taken two weeks' sooner on 5 July.

Read changes and latest guidance from the Government

Read the Prime Minister's 14 June statement

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

  • Get both doses of the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well
  • Participate in surge testing in your local area, whether you are vaccinated or not
  • Self-isolate immediately if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or if you've tested positive for COVID-19

Read vaccine announcement

Book or manage vaccine appointment

 

See also on this page:

See also the following information on separate pages:

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 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.
    • However, from 21 June more than 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes. The number of people able to attend such events 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

 

Meeting friends and family safely

On 10 May, the government published advice for meeting friends and family safely. The guidance explains how COVID-19 is spread, outlines how to minimise the risks when meeting people and includes actions the public can take to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

This includes advice to:

  • Meet outside
  • If you do meet inside, make sure the space is well ventilated - open windows and doors
  • Take the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to as well
  • Remember that some people are more vulnerable than others to being seriously ill from COVID-19
  • Minimise how many people you're in close contact with, and for how long
  • Get tested twice a week (with free rapid Covid-19 tests called "lateral flow testing")
  • Wash your hands and clean surfaces regularly to remove virus particles

See more information:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-friends-and-family-covid-19

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 government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes

See the Government's news announcement issued 10 May: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-restrictions-eased-for-care-homes

 

Step 3
Step 3

Our Services Status for Step 3

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: From 17 May 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. Customers should continue to access our services on our website or by phone if possible. Anyone who is unable to do so can attend reception to access services in person, or by using phones and computers which are available for public use.

 

  • 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 now open to the public, and from 17 May will revert to full time operating hours. Please limit your visits to about 30 minutes for choosing books or an hour to use a PC, and continue to wear face coverings and follow other government guidelines when you are in our libraries in order to keep everyone safe. Please check our website for details of current opening times: www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries.

 

In addition:

  • The Order & Collect service will continue to be available online or by phone on 01635 519813 (or ring your local library) or by email: library@westberks.gov.uk.
  • The Mobile Library will continue to operate a book collection service only.
  • 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]
  • The Registration Service at Shaw House is still open for appointments. For information about the Registration Service please call: 01635 279230 or see Coronavirus: Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships.

 

  • Parks: People will continue to be able to visit council-run parks, as long as they adhere to the guidelines on socialising outdoors. 

 


Step 4 - Most changes expected not to be before 19 July

Some restrictions in Step 3 will change on 21 June

As per the Government announcement on 14 June 2021, is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July, though the data will be reviewed after 2 weeks in case the risks have reduced. The government will continue to monitor the data and the move to Step 4 will be confirmed one week in advance.

However, some restrictions will change on 21 June. From 21 June, there will be changes to the rules on:

  • weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions or civil partnership celebrations
  • commemorative events following a death such as a wake, stone setting or ash scattering
  • large events pilots
  • care home visits
  • domestic residential visits for children
Step 4
Step 4

Moving to the next Step of the Roadmap

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

The 4 tests
The 4 tests

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.

 

 

 

 

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
COVID Winter Grant Scheme FAQs
The COVID Winter Grant scheme is for individuals or families living in West Berkshire who are experiencing hardship due to COVID.
Community Testing in West Berkshire (Lateral Flow Testing)
Around 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.
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.
Health advice to help you avoid catching or spreading coronavirus, and its symptoms.
Information about the status of local transport, including buses
Information about the status of council meetings and functions