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Update from council leader - 16 September

Council office building

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

Now we’re mid-way through September and children and young people are back in school, our thoughts will soon be turning to preparing for winter.

However, COVID-19 is still very much a risk and this will not be a ‘normal’ autumn or winter; it is crucial that we continue to take all the measures we can to prevent the spread of the virus. This is even more important now the weather is starting to change and the opportunities to spend time outdoors will be more limited than they have been throughout the pandemic so far.

The national rise in infection rates and resulting increase in restrictions coming into force this week, are a timely reminder that we cannot afford to become complacent. If we do, we risk more restrictions returning at either a local or national level and I’m sure you will all agree that Bracknell Forest does not want to go under local lockdown.

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of transmission in the borough, as well as washing your hands regularly, is to ensure you wear a face covering in all enclosed spaces – this includes shops, supermarkets, visitor attractions and entertainment venues such as cinemas and bowling alleys.  The list of places face coverings are mandatory by law, unless you are exempt, has recently been added to, so I’d urge you to familiarise yourself with the full list at GOV.UK. 

Please remember, because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from COVID-19, they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. So, please keep washing your hands, if you can wear a face covering, please do so and keep your distance. This will protect your family and friends and the wider community.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must isolate immediately for 10 days and get a test. Your household must also isolate immediately and remain isolated for 14 days - wearing a face covering does not exclude you from self-isolation. You should also arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. Remember though, you should only get tested if you have symptoms, if you don’t, then please do not get tested – save the tests for those who need them.

If we all continue to keep following these measures, then together, we will protect one another and avoid a local lockdown when the evenings are darker, the weather is colder and the prospect of only socialising outdoors is much less appealing.

Until next week, take care and stay safe.