From tomorrow, new national restrictions come into effect. We all know these restrictions aren’t easy, but we do need to act to make sure we can protect vulnerable people and prevent the NHS being overwhelmed this winter.
If we all do the right thing and follow the rules then I hope we can make a faster economic and social recovery when the lockdown is over.
The main points are:
STAY AT HOME
Do not go out except to shop for basic necessities such as food and medicine, and for work when you cannot work from home. You can also exercise outdoors with the people you live with or with your support bubble. If you are on your own, you can also exercise outdoors with one person from another household, but remember that you need to maintain 2-metre social distancing.
STAY SAFE OUTSIDE THE HOME
You should minimise time spent outside the home, but something that has not changed with the new restrictions is the importance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’ – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds, wear a face-covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and try to stay 2m apart from people you do not live with.
DO NOT MEET SOCIALLY INDOORS WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS
unless you live with them or are in a support bubble with them. You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble or one person from another household. This includes parks, public gardens and playgrounds – but not in private gardens.
ONLY ESSENTIAL RETAIL WILL BE OPEN
All non-essential retail shops will have to close, along with entertainment venues and indoor and outdoor leisure facilities. More on what that means for us in Reading is below.
You can read more on the new national restrictions here.
The following Council services will close temporarily:
· Reading Museum and Town Hall (the Coroner’s Court will remain open)
· Marriage appointments and wedding ceremonies
· RSL Leisure centres at South Reading, Palmer Park and Meadway, along with Rivermead
· Outdoor sports such as football
· Reading Arts venues – the Hexagon and South Street Arts Centre
All other services will continue, including waste and recycling collections and booked appointments at the re3 recycling centres – you can book a slot here. Central Library and Caversham Library also remain open for booked appointments, though computer use will be temporarily suspended. For full details on how our services are affected, click here.
Reading’s schools, colleges and the University of Reading will remain open, which will be important for the wellbeing of our young people.
It is vital that we continue to look out for and protect the wellbeing of everybody in Reading, particularly the vulnerable. The One Reading Community Hub can help with urgent food and prescription needs, getting a priority supermarket delivery slot, or other issues such as debt, loneliness, stress and anxiety. See the box below for contact details.
We will also be doing everything we can to help support local businesses that will suffer over the coming period, with two Government grant schemes being announced this week. We will be releasing guidance soon on how to access them. In the meantime, further information on this, along with some useful links for businesses and the self-employed from Reading UK, can be found below.
If we all follow the new restrictions, we can help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. Thank you for your ongoing support at this most difficult of times.