WOKINGHAM borough has been placed in Tier 2 for the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
From Wednesday, December 2, the current lockdown restrictions will be replaced by a return to a tiered approach across England in a bid to slow down the pace of the Covid transmission. Different rules apply to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Like most of the Thames Valley, Wokingham borough has been placed in the same tier, making it easier for residents who, for example, live in Earley – part of Wokingham borough – but work in Reading.
But what are the restrictions?
For most people, life will look broadly similar: schools and workplaces remain open, but people are asked to work from home where possible and keep journeys to a minimum.
If you leave Tier 2 to go to a Tier 1 area, you must carry on following the rules as if you were in Tier 2. You should avoid visiting a Tier 3 area other than for necessary journeys.
Indoors, you can only socialise with people you live with or in your support bubble: this includes public spaces as well as homes.
Outdoors the rule of six applies to gardens and public spaces.
Pubs and bars that don’t serve food must close and alcohol can only be served with ‘substantial meals’ – no ordering a packet a crisps and calling it a meal.
It is table service only, with last orders at 10pm. Venues must close between 11pm and 5am.
However, takeaways and deliveries can continue throughout.
The 11pm closure rules applies to leisure venues including cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys, theme parks and bingo halls. However, cinemas, theatres and concert halls can remain open after 11pm as long as the performance starts before 10pm.
Venues must operate at either 50% capacity or 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 indoors – whichever is lower. This means that football fans will be allowed back into the Mad Stad for Reading’s festive games, but tickets will probably be in high demand, with season ticket holders probably given priority.
Outdoor sport and fitness activities can resume, but indoors are limited only to activities where people can avoid mixing with those outside of their bubble: there are exceptions for under 18s and disabled sports.
Places of worship will remain open, but people cannot socialise with those outside their household or support bubble. Matt Hancock confirmed that outdoor carol singing will be permitted.
Weddings will be limited to 15 people, funerals to 30, but wakes and stone settings are limited to 15 people.