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Update from council leader - 23 December

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

This week I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Bracknell Forest is now in tier 4, which means that residents must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions set out in law.

Unfortunately, this means that you must make sure you do not join or form a Christmas bubble, however disappointing that may be, as we need to keep everyone as safe as possible. The rules previously outlined for 23 to 27 December no longer apply in Bracknell Forest, and you can celebrate Christmas with your household or support bubble only.

I know these new restrictions may be unwelcome news for our residents, many of whom have been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with their families. However, the virus is spreading at an alarming rate, so we need to stick to these tougher restrictions in order to protect ourselves, protect our loved ones and protect our borough. While not all of us will suffer from the serious harm that COVID-19 can cause, we all need to stop and think about how we behave and what part we play in stopping the spread of this dreadful infection to those for whom it can have devastating consequences.

In addition to the tier 3 restrictions introduced earlier this week, non-essential retail, indoor entertainment, indoor gyms and leisure facilities, and personal care services such as hairdressers and beauty salons, are now closed. As such, Bracknell Leisure Centre and Coral Reef are closed. Downshire Golf Course will be open for use of the green only and in line with household mixing and outdoor exercise rules. Libraries are also closed to reduce the risk of any spread but online services will remain open.

The borough’s parks and open spaces will remain open for exercise. Residents should only exercise locally with their own household or support bubble. However, you can meet outside in a public place with one other person. Communal worship can continue to take place in tier 4 but you should not interact with anyone outside your household or support bubble.

Please do stick to the rules which are a legal requirement. If you do need to go out please make sure you carefully follow the hands, face, space rules.

I hope that despite the restrictions you can enjoy the festivities safely at home and get some rest and relaxation.

Stay safe, and remember to protect yourselves and your loved ones this week.