Thu, 26 Nov 2020
West Berkshire will be placed in Tier 2 when national lockdown restrictions end next week.
Under the high tier:
The tiers are based on the prevalence of coronavirus in a region, and introduce varying degrees of restrictions to help combat the virus.
The local region includes West Berkshire along with Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, and Windsor and Maidenhead. This region will move into the high tier from Wednesday, December 2.
West Berkshire’s seven-day infection rate is currently 96.6 cases per 100,000 population, the second lowest in Berkshire after Bracknell, with 153 cases recorded in the seven days to November 20.
The latest figures show that six per cent of West Berkshire cases are positive. Public Health England says a positivity rate of 7.5 per cent or higher is a cause for concern.
Tiers will be reviewed by December 16, meaning that local authorities can make a case for moving down a tier if infection rates decrease.
Speaking about the latest developments, the leader of West Berkshire Council Lynne Doherty (Con, Speen) said: “I am pleased that we are moving out of lockdown, but recognise the move into a higher tier than we were originally in will come as a disappointment to many.
"We still face tightened restrictions as we seek to reduce coronavirus cases in our communities. We’ve been living with coronavirus for eight months now and it’s as important as ever that we all continue to follow these restrictions to help to keep us all safe.
"I know it will be difficult not being able to mix indoors with others, but would ask for your continued patience as we move towards the Christmas period and then the roll out of a vaccine that will hopefully start to see life return to normal.
“We know some residents who have been affected by coronavirus will need extra support with food and household bills this winter. We’ve created a Winter Hardship Fund which will provide help to those who need it most. The last thing we want is for people to be struggling in silence so if you need some help do please get in touch.”
“It will be disappointing to some businesses that we are to go into a high tier. We know it has been an incredibly difficult year for businesses and we will continue to support them through it. Grants are available to businesses which need help, and we will offer all the support we can.”
Slough has been placed into Tier 3, while neighbouring Hampshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire have been placed in Tier 2.
In Tier 3, people will be banned from mixing at indoor or outdoor venues, pubs and restaurants will close (can provide takeaways) and people will be advised against travelling in and out of the area.
In Tier 1 areas, people will be able to meet indoors and outdoors in groups of up to six, and pubs, restaurants and cinemas will be allowed to stay open until 11pm. Fans will be able to attend sports matches and live performances, but numbers will be restricted.