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 on protecting yourself and our community from the spread of Covid-19 and the practical support we can offer to residents.

Information on this page:

Self-isolation, what to do and when

How to stay safe and stop the spread of Covid-19

Customer Support

Further information about Covid-19

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

Information for Businesses

 

Updated 30 November 2021

Omicron Variant - New Rules and Guidance 

With the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron, both across the globe and within the UK, the Government has taken steps to limit the spread and effect. 

As of 4am on Tuesday 30 November, the following changes are now in effect:

  • Face coverings are a legal requirement in shops and on public transport, unless you are exempt. 
  • International arrivals from non-red list countries who are fully vaccinated will need to isolate at home and take a PCR test on or before day 2 following your arrival. You are only permitted to leave isolation if this test result is negative; if your test result is positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days. 
  • If you have come into contact with someone who may have been infected with the Omicron variant, you will need to self-isolate. This applies even if you are fully vaccinated or aged 18 or under. 

These rules are mandatory and are a legal requirement, and will be reviewed on 20 December 2021.

The red list of countries has also been updated, to find out more, please visit the Government website.

Self-isolation, what to do and when

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have Covid-19.

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Covid-19, self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) on GOV.UK as soon as possible if you have any of these three symptoms of Covid-19, even if they are mild:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You should also self-isolate straight away if:

  • you've tested positive for COVID-19 - this means you have the virus
  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive (unless you are not required to self-isolate - check below if this applies to you)
  • you've been told to self-isolate following contact with someone who tested positive

If you have been identified as a close contact, or live with someone testing positive for Covid-19, we advise you to complete a PCR test as soon as possible, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Fully 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.

To find out more visit the NHS website

 

How to stay safe and stop the spread of Covid-19

By following simple measures, we can all help stop the spread of Covid-19. To help stop the spread, you should:

In addition:

  • Meet in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open. Even if it is colder, try to open the windows in a room for at least 10 minutes for every hour.
  • 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 use 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.

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 - 5pm 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.

 

Further information about COVID

We must all continue to follow the guidance around Hands, Face, Space to keep West Berkshire safe and save lives. 

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 5pm 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: 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: 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