Reacting to the latest news that Reading has been placed in Tier 4 restrictions by Government as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response, Councillor Jason Brock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said:
“The Government has made the decision to place Reading into Tier 4 restrictions from 00:01 on Sunday 20th December.
“In the light of the rapidly rising infection rates across the South East, the situation has deteriorated to the point where Government has imposed a new level of restrictions.
“Unfortunately, this means that from Sunday new rules will be in place and that, regretfully, we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.
“I know these changes will inevitably cause further anxiety for residents and businesses in Reading and this news will come as a huge disappointment to everyone excited at the prospect of Christmas and seeing friends and family. I personally feel this frustration too and my thoughts are with you all.
“Those in tier four cannot mix indoors with anyone not from their household – so we can no longer mix with anyone outside our own household at Christmas – although support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation.
“Other changes to be aware of include:
Non-essential businesses will now close. This includes all non-essential retail, along with hairdressers, nail bars, indoor gyms and leisure facilities.
You must stay at home, unless travelling to work, for education, for childcare or in an emergency.
You can exercise outdoors and you can meet with one other person outdoors in an open public space.
People will be advised not to travel from or into a tier four area. International travel is now banned unless for work purposes.
“We will update you will more details in the coming days, including updates on how Tier 4 will affect our services.
“I’d like to remind everyone of the support available from the One Reading Community Hub to help anyone in need with accessing specialist services, such as urgent food needs or other issues such as debt, loneliness, stress and anxiety: Details of the financial support available for local businesses affected by the restrictions is also available on our website.
“We need to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and to move Reading out of the Tier 4 restrictions as soon as possible. The restrictions will be reviewed by Government after two weeks, but this means there will be no relaxation on 31 December, so people will need to follow the rules as we enter the New Year.
“The Council were not consulted at all in advance of these changes and there are doubtless many particular questions that residents may have where Government still needs to issue detailed guidance and clarification around. I hope such guidance will be forthcoming in short order, and I am especially keen to impress upon ministers the need for further financial support to be made available to businesses in Reading.
“We know our town has responded magnificently to previous lockdowns and restrictions and I have no doubt that the town will come together to do the right thing for Reading again.”
Find out more information at www.reading.gov.uk