View this email in your browser
Fri 23 October 2020:
Your regular update from Reading Borough Council on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can help
A message from Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock

I want to start by thanking everyone who watched and responded to Reading Borough Council's Public Health Consultant David Munday's video last week. In this week's video David gives an update on the situation in Reading and how it compares to other areas, the measures the Council are taking to tackle the virus locally, and information on how to get tested. 

You can watch this week’s video here: 

We have introduced a number of measures to tackle the virus locally, including:
  • securing new local testing sites at Prospect Park and the University of Reading 
  • starting a local contact tracing operation as part of national test and trace, 
  • creating a dedicated team to support local businesses and venues to comply with covid secure regulations, and taking enforcement action where necessary
  • regular communications to residents and partners including translated and accessible materials. 
I want to thank you for all your efforts to keep the virus under control and for slowing the spread, and I want to reiterate the importance of self-isolating. This is vitally important because it stops the virus being transmitted, and in some cases it is also a legal requirement. You should self-isolate if you or someone in your household has symptoms, or if you are told to by the NHS test and trace system.  Reports from the Government's scientific advisory group (SAGE) suggest that not everyone is fully self-isolating when they should. If you are worried about self-isolating and need financial support, or need help with essential food or medicine, then ask a friend or neighbour, or look at the help available via self-isolation support payments or the One Reading Community Hub - find out more below. 
Next week is half term and Halloween, which is a potential danger period with friends and families gathering together which could lead to an acceleration in cases that none of us wants to see. Please stay safe and follow rules. There is more information below on half-term activities you can enjoy safely, and how to enjoy Halloween responsibly.


Covid infection rates are rising fast in Reading. We all know the rules around hand, face, space; but another important rule is to self-isolate when you need to.  Less than 20% of people in England self-isolate when asked to do so, according to documents released by SAGE, the Government's scientific advisory group for emergencies, last month. Self-isolating means staying at home and not going out even to go shopping or take exercise.  It's the right thing to do to keep people safe in Reading - and if you've tested positive or been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace, it's also a legal requirement. If you are struggling to self-isolate, there is help available. 
You should self-isolate when:

  • You have symptoms of coronavirus, even if the symptoms are mild. You should self-isolate and get a test. You can stop self-isolating if you get a negative test result. 
  • You get a positive coronavirus test result. You should continue to isolate for 14 days. 
  • You live with someone who has symptoms or who has tested positive.
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive.
  • You are told to self-isolate by the NHS test and trace service, or the NHS Covid-19 app. 
  • You are returning to the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk - you can find out more on the Gov.UK website
If your child is sent home from school or nursery following contact with a case of coronavirus then they will need to self-isolate. As a parent or guardian, you do not need to self-isolate unless your child starts to show symptoms, at which point your household should isolate, and the child should have a test.  In all cases, you should follow the instructions provided by the school or nursery. 
Unfortunately, we know that many people aren't self-isolating when they should - because they don't feel sick, because they are worried about the impact on other people in their home or workplace, or because they are worried about money. However, it is essential that we all self-isolate when needed to stop the spread of the virus. 
If you are worried, help is available:
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help - we have seen throughout the pandemic that our communities have come together to support each other when needed. If you need a friend or neighbour to help with the shopping or provide a bit of support, then don't be afraid to ask. 
  • If you are on a low income and face a loss of income due to isolating, you may be entitled to a Self-Isolation Support Payment. To find out more and claim the payment visit our website.  
  • If you have urgent needs for food or medicine, or need other help such as debt advice or befriending, contact the One Reading Community Hub.

You can find out more about self-isolating on the NHS website.
Please help us do the right thing for Reading. Self-isolate if you need to and stop the spread of the virus. Thank you. 

Half-Term Message

Half term is approaching. We hope you all enjoy the break safely.  Please remember infection rates are rising fast locally. Don’t let this holiday become a super-spreader event. Do the right thing for Reading. Stick to the guidelines. Help stop the spread.

Remember these 5 important pieces of advice:

  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a face-covering where possible
  • Keep a safe distance from others
  • Don’t meet up with more than 6 people, indoors or outdoors (including children)
  • Isolate at home if you need to

Check the rules at

For a list of activities on offer locally click here.

Reading Museum is open again and they have some great half-term activities on offer for all the family in a Covid safe environment.

Little Ankle Biters Berkshire is also a great resource for local activities and things to do.

For virtual entertainment why not check out Reading Culture Live

Enjoying Halloween Safely

We all have to do Halloween a little bit differently this year to be safe. Coronavirus levels are rising in Reading and we need to ensure we do everything possible not to spread the virus.
This year, please avoid traditional trick-or-treating. Here are a few ideas for alternative ways to make Halloween fun:
  • Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household.
  • Decorate your house, apartment or living space with fun or spooky decorations.
  • Admire Halloween decorations at a distance – why not do a local Halloween scavenger hunt. Give kids lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors. Reward your kids with your own sweets.
  • Try a scavenger-hunt-style candy search with your household members in or around your home rather than going trick or treating at neighbours’ houses.
  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Host a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
Reading Museum is open again and they have some great Halloween activities on offer for all the family in a Covid safe environment.

Please celebrate Halloween safely this October.

With the latest advice and service information changing regularly, you can keep up to date by following our dedicated page to the Covid-19 response here:
Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (links below) for regular updates.
Copyright © 2020 Reading Borough Council, All rights reserved.
You signed up to receive updates and alerts about our services

Our mailing address is:
Reading Borough Council
Civic Offices
Bridge Street
Reading, Berkshire RG1 2LU
United Kingdom

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp