The latest government advice on meeting people from outside your household is available here, please note the following:
- On Tuesday 5th January Central Government placed England into a National Lockdown. The relevant legislation, Statutory Instrument 2021 No. 8, can be found here. Government guidance on allowable activity has been published here.
- From Monday 8th March, these restrictions are being slowly relaxed, as per the government roadmap for Spring 2021.
- From Monday 29th March, outdoor sports facilities & exercise venues, including the skatepark, MUGA course and outdoor gym at Sol Joel, and the BMX track at Paddick Drive, can reopen.
- From Monday 12th April, non-essential retail, libraries and community centres, outdoor hospitality, personal care, and indoor leisure (except group classes) can reopen.
- From Monday 17th May, indoor entertainment and hospitality can reopen, as can adult indoor group sports and exercise classes. Students no longer need to wear face coverings in school, but must still wear a mask on public and dedicated transport.
If you need to report a serious breach of COVID-19 measures, Thames Valley police have created a reporting tool that can be assessed here.
For the latest service updates from Wokingham Borough Council, click here.
To find the latest local figures please check the Public Health Berkshire Dashboard, which also contains a helpful My Local Area link where you can check the latest guidance of what you should and should not do in your area.
The government have set out a roadmap to unlock the country. There are four steps, which can be found in the following infographics (Step 1 & 2, Step 3 & 4) as well as four tests. The detailed roadmap can be found on the Government publications website.
Whitegates Ward was targeted for local testing (surge testing) from Monday 7th June 2012. Full details can be found on the WBC website or on the ETC News Item. Surge testing also applies to some areas of Reading, and further details can be found on the RBC website.
How to help
To see simple ways to help your community during the COVID 19 situation, and details on what to do if you need support, click here.
If you’d like to support the work of Wokingham Foodbank in supplying essential items for those in need, you can find their latest shopping list here. If someone is in need of their help, encourage them to register with one of the care agencies in the town, such as Citizens Advice Bureau, so they can then request a voucher that can be exchanged at the Foodbank for a food parcel or help with fuel.
The NHS have developed an app to help the Test and Trace system that goes lives from Thursday 24th September. You can download the Test and Trace app from the Apple app store or the Google Play store. More information can be found on the NHS webpage.
To help residents understand more about the Covid-19 vaccine, WBC have linked up with Dr Amit Sharma from Brookside Surgery in Earley to produce some handy videos which answer common questions, explain about the three available vaccines, run through the Covid-19 vaccine priority list, and cover why it’s so important to get vaccinated.
Wokingham Borough Council are offering Community Testing to all residents. The test provided is a Lateral Flow Test and it delivers the results within 30 minutes. Full details can be found on the WBC Community Testing page.
You and your children may be feeling nervous about needing to do twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests. If so, watch this handy how-to video which provides a step by step guide to self testing. The government have also produced a comprehensive guidance booklet.
Rapid Lateral Flow Home Test kits are available to households and support/childcare bubbles of school staff and all school pupils. You can order tests online through the Gov.uk website.
Do you know how to dispose of home lateral device tests? After use put all the test kit contents, including the sachets, swabs and extraction tubes, into the small waste bag provided with the kit, seal it and then put in your normal waste. The outer packaging: cardboard box & sleeve; and leaflet can be recycled normally.
Blue Bags can be ordered direct from Wokingham Borough Council. Arrangements for delivery or collection sites can be found there. Waste sacks can be ordered for delivery, or collection from the Shute End office reception.
Please note WBC will continue to empty public litter bins, dog bins and bottle banks. If the bins and bottle banks are full, please take your items home with you. Do not leave anything next to the bins/bottle banks.
The Borough’s recycling centres have re-opened in a limited format. You will need to book a slot in advance on their website here.
Councillor Andrew Mickleburgh has been amongst those volunteering their time to serve as part of the Wokingham Borough Community Response. The Wokingham Paper recently covered how they’ve been helping in this article.
To find out more about the Earley Help Hub, which links volunteers with local needs in Earley, click here.
North Earley and Whitegates have set up a Covid-19 support group, with a contact point in every street and back up volunteers across the area. To learn more, click here.
Wokingham Borough have provided a helpful flowchart of the support they can offer, whether it is help with picking up supplies or prescriptions, or you just need someone to chat to – get in touch with Citizens Advice Wokingham here. Please note their new telephone number 0808 278 7958.
Health and Wellbeing
With the use of masks becoming more commonplace, the government have produced a helpful infographic on how to use a face covering safely, available here. For more information on face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions and how to make your own, please check this government website.
Get the latest NHS advice on Covid-19, including advice on symptoms, self-isolation and arranging a test click here.
The government have produced a helpful graphic to help you be ready for self-isolation if you are so advised either because you, or a contact, have tested positive.
Public Health England have advised that ‘anyone who has previously received a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 should only be re-tested within a 90-day period if they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19’. If this is the case, you should isolate with your household and arrange a further PCR test through the NHS.
At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from Domestic Abuse, isolation rules do not apply and help is available. @BWA_RDG can provide advice, support and refuge, call 0118 9504003. If you are in immediate danger call 999, and if you are unable to talk, press 55 when prompted (mobile phones only). Details here, here and here.
A number of organisations have provided guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing if you need to stay at home or are worried and anxious about the outbreak, especially for those who are in isolation. Find help from Mind, NHS, Samaritans and WHO.
Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself. More advice for parents here. WBC have also produced a helpful guide to determine when your child should or shouldn’t attend school due to Covid-19. It can be accessed here.
If you’re an informal carer (providing regular unpaid assistance to someone) there is lots of different support available – either by phone, online, or someone visiting you at home. More information is available from WBC. The best place to start to find out about support is The Wokingham Carers Hub (0118 324 7333), it also has an online group for young carers as well as telephone support. The hidden carers free helpline (0800 133 7851) has been extended until the end of December. You can also request an assessment in your own right if you’re caring for someone aged 18 or over. Simply complete an online self-assessment on our website (search carers assessment) or call the Health and Social Care Hub on 0300 365 1234 and request a paper one.
This year’s flu season will coincide with the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the population, the NHS would like as many people to get the Flu vaccine as possible. As with COVID19, it is possible to have no symptoms of Flu and unknowingly spread it to your friends, family and those you care for. For more details on the flu jab, please look at the NHS website, or read this leaflet. You can get a flu jab from your local Pharmacy or GP Practice.
Around the UK, Trading Standards are experiencing an increase in the number of complaints about scams, designed to prey on the concerns of people. Public Protection Partnership have produced a helpful Press Release with all you should need to know and how to contact them if you come across a scam.
If you are concerned about scammers pretending to be from the NHS Track and Trace team, WBC have provided some advice on what official staff will and won’t say, as well as an example of what a scammer might say. Official Track and Trace staff will never ask for payment.
A new Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline (0800 587 5030) has been set up by HM Government in partnership with Crimestoppers to enable individuals to report fraud within the public sector during COVID. More information can be found on the Public Protection Partnership website.
Track and Trace
An overview of how NHS Track and Trace works can be found on the government website.
The NHS Covid 19 App is quick and easy to download onto your phone, free of charge, from the App Store and Google Play. It takes only minutes to set up. All you need do then is type in the first four letters/numbers of your postcode. To find out more more about the app, please check the NHS page. Earley Town Council is encouraging all users of our community centres to download the app and participate in the scheme to help defeat the virus.
For information on Test and Trace Support Payments, please take a look at this Wokingham Borough webpage.
Other advice and support
WBC’s Sports and Leisure team have produced a range of home exercise workouts for you to try including: aerobics, pilates, tai chi, standing and seated exercises. Leisure centres are currently closed to the public in line with current legislation. Videos are available here.
WBC libraries are running a click and collect service at Wokingham, Woodley and Lower Earley libraries. Books can be ordered online or by phone. All currently borrowed books had been auto-renewed until February 28th. More information is available on the WBC library page.
The government has collated a list of free online educational resources, to support children and their families learning at home, covering subjects such as English, Maths, Science, PE, Wellbeing and SEND appropriate material. Available here. There are lots of fantastic learning resources available online that will help you support your children with their continued learning (including some that are normally paid for, currently being made available free of charge). Parentkind have collated a collection that may help with homeschooling.
For the latest RSPCA Advice on how to care for your pets during the COVID-19 situation, click here.
The Council for Intellectual Disability has put together some resources for people with additional needs explaining how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. These cover: looking after your mental health during coronavirus, staying safe from coronavirus, and what is social distancing, and can be found here.
If you are out of work or worried about losing your job, then Wokingham Job Support Centre is available to help. Jobseekers can contact them for free support and advice including: searching for job opportunities, creating a CV, applying for roles, and improving your interview technique. Their team of advisers are on hand from 10am-2pm, Monday-Friday, to help you over the phone or online.
Please email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will call you back. For further information, please visit here.
Please do not be tempted to have a bonfire as many people at home are vulnerable and any one of your neighbours might have respiratory issues or even be fighting the Coronavirus itself. During this difficult time please put their needs first. More information is available from the Public Protection Partnership.
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue have put together some advice to take extra care when enjoying the outdoors, whether that’s your garden or further afield, to ensure we all stay safe.
If you suspect that a vehicle has been abandoned, there are a couple of checks you should do before reporting it. The Public Protection Partnership have produced an advice page, available here. They recommend performing an online DVLA tax check first, and note that if it shows a local owner, the vehicle cannot be considered abandoned. Parking illegally or inconsiderately should be reported to the Police on 101. If the vehicle is on private land, such as Housing Association car park, then they should be contacted first. Should you need to report an abandoned vehicle in Wokingham, please use this link.