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Prime Minister announces stricter COVID-19 restrictions

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The Prime Minister has today (Saturday) announced tougher COVID-19 restrictions for England, coming into effect from Sunday morning. We are still awaiting details of these new rules, but we understand that London and other parts of the east and south east of England will move to a new Tier 4 level of restrictions, which the Prime Minister indicated would be broadly equivalent to the lockdown restrictions introduced in England in November. 

We understand that Reading and Wokingham will move to this new Tier 4. The Prime Minister indicated that residents in Tier 4 areas must stay at home, with limited exemptions. Non-essential retail and indoor gyms must close, and people should work from home when they can, and should not enter or leave tier four areas. The previous relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period will also change. The new measures will last for two weeks and be reviewed on 30 December.

For students who are still in halls, our food provision will continue throughout the period of these new rules. We understand that the changes to the Christmas rules mean that the previously announced ‘bubbles’ of up to three households will no longer be permitted. Our previous communication about Christmas arrangements in halls will, therefore, no longer apply.

We will review these new restrictions in detail when they are officially released and provide a full update for students and colleagues on Monday 21 December.

The University will remain open until end of Monday, before closing for the Christmas period until 4 January, but we encourage people not to travel to campus unless absolutely essential. Our COVID-19 hotline will be open on Sunday 11am to 4pm on 0118 214 7813 and please also check the government website for updates.

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