Reading has been placed in the lowest ‘Covid alert tier’ under new government measures that came into effect on October 13, 2020.
In practice, this means residents should continue to follow the guidance that had applied to all of England, except for local lock-down areas. This includes the ‘rule of six’ that allows you to only socialise in groups of six, indoors or outdoors, wearing face coverings and leaving pubs and restaurants by 10pm.
While the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has increased in Reading “there had been virtually no Covid-related deaths since the end of May and beginning of June,” said David Munday, the public health consultant for Reading Borough Council at a meeting on 9 October 2020.
Healthwatch Reading asked at the online meeting if Reading’s local outbreak plan was finalised yet, to tackle rising cases, and was told that it had been submitted to Public Health England for review.
Reading's Covid status
Which tier are we in? Medium (the lowest, Tier 1)
Are cases increasing? Yes and the council is in talks about a possible move to Tier 2
Where can you find latest figures? Go to the Public Health Reading Covid Dashboard
Where can you get tested? You can book a free test if you have symptoms, via national NHS Test and Trace system, at various venues depending on availability:
- A new walk-through testing centre at the University of Reading
- A mobile testing unit that is visiting Prospect Park on certain dates
- Permanent testing sites in Newbury or Slough
The council has produced regular videos of public health consultant David Munday talking about Covid in Reading, which people can watch on You Tube.
While restrictions remain unchanged for the general public in our borough, the government has issued new advice to the shielding group (known as the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’) on how to protect themselves within each of the three new tiers, which also include ‘high’ and ‘very high’.
New advice on shielding
People who are 'clinically extremely vulnerable', living in medium alert areas, should:
If possible, meet people outside & try not to meet too many different people
Limit journeys on public transport where possible
Consider shopping or visiting the pharmacy at quieter times of the day
Keep going to medical appointments and contact the NHS about urgent problems
Still go to school, college, or university
Carry on going to work if you can’t do your job at home