Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead could voluntarily go into Tier 2 lockdown as infection rates remain high.
Both areas are currently in Tier 1 of the government’s new coronavirus restrictions.
The councils have the power to impose stricter restrictions on those living in their areas and to escalate to a higher level if they deem it necessary.
The Slough Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are in discussions to consider voluntarily imposing Tier 2 restrictions on their populations.
A spokeswoman for the Slough Borough Council confirmed the news, saying: “The numbers are such that we have been speaking with the Department of Health and Welfare and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) about the possibility that we are in since last week Tier 2 would land and whether we should voluntarily go into it instead of being deployed there.
“Discussions are ongoing at this stage and a similar discussion will take place early next week.
“Our numbers per 1
The following is news that Essex County Council has asked Secretary of Health Matt Hancock to give the county a Tier 2 rating.
Tier 2 restrictions include prohibiting the mixing of households and restricting the use of public transportation to those intended for essential travel only.
Slough and Windsor and Maidenhead are currently in Tier 1.
Much of the country, including all of Berkshire, falls under this tier, which has the rule of six indoors and outdoors, pubs and restaurants curfew at 10 p.m., homework and social distancing when possible.
However, both councils are considering moving into tier 2 due to rising infection rates.
In Windsor and Maidenhead, the infection rate is now 111.6 per 100,000 people. In Slough, the infection rate is 95.6 per 100,000 people.
That means 169 new cases were recorded in Windsor and Maidenhead and 143 new cases in Slough in the seven days leading up to Saturday October 10th.
Explaining the possibility of a Tier 2 lockdown, the Slough Borough Council spokeswoman added, “We would choose to do this instead of being told to.”
“Our numbers are such that we have more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in the latest data.
“Obviously there are some difficulties with it, in tier 2 households you can’t mix and match, it will affect our population, but there are people who are at higher risk.
“By the time you are 20 you may be fine, you may be a mild case, but it can still affect your family.
“This is no time to be complacent.
“Once again we will ask people to wash their hands, wear masks and keep social distance
“We know they are all boring, but they are the actions any individual can take.
“That’s what we ask people to do.”
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The RBWM health chief stressed that the council had been classified in Tier 1, but admitted that its status was “constantly monitored”.
Councilor Stuart Carroll, Senior Director, Adult Social Care, Childcare, Health and Mental Health at RBWM, said: “We worked closely with Public Health England, discussing which category is appropriate and which was placed in the medium risk category.
“However, this classification is constantly being reviewed based on the information received.
“We urge everyone to think about their actions, follow the guidelines and understand the risks associated with transmission to prevent the virus from spreading further in our community.”
What are the restrictions in Tier 2?
- People are not allowed to meet anyone outside of their household or support the bubble indoors
- People are not allowed to meet in groups larger than six
- Companies and venues can continue to operate COVID-safe, except for those that are legally closed, including nightclubs
- Certain companies that sell food and drink need to ensure customers stay seated and close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- Companies and venues that sell take-away groceries can do so after 10 p.m. as long as it’s done via delivery, click-and-collect, or drive-through
- Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
- Weddings and funerals can limit the number of participants
- Exercise classes and organized sports are allowed outdoors. Classes are only permitted indoors if it is possible not to mingle with people outside their household or support bubble or for youth or disabled sports
- Travel to work or to access education is allowed, but people should try to reduce the number of trips they make if possible. And are encouraged to walk or bike if possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes using public transport