covid 19

Changes to self isolation

Self-isolation for COVID-19 cases reduced from 10 to 7 days following negative LFD tests

covid 19

From today, new guidance enables the 10-day self-isolation period for people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) to be reduced to 7 days, in most cases.

People who receive negative LFD results on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 7 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID- 19.

There is no change to the guidance for unvaccinated contacts of positive COVID-19 cases, who are still required to self-isolate for 10 full days after their date of exposure to the virus.

For more information please click HERE.

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wokingham borough council

Wokingham Borough Council’s Christmas hours

Out of hours help and opening hours

During the festive break Wokingham Borough Council’s main Shute End offices will be closed on bank holidays and operating reduced hours on some other days:

  • Friday 24 December – 9am to 3pm 
  • Saturday 25 December (Christmas Day) – Closed
  • Sunday 26 December  (Boxing Day) – Closed
  • Monday 27 December (Bank holiday – Christmas Day substitute day) – Closed
  • Tuesday 28 December (Bank Holiday – Boxing Day substitute day) – Closed
  • Wednesday 29 December – Normal opening hours  (9am to 5pm)
  • Thursday 30 December – Normal opening hours (9am to 5pm)
  • Friday 31 December (New Year’s Eve)- 9am to 3pm
  • Saturday 1 January 2022 (New Year’s Day) – Closed
  • Sunday 2 January 2022 – Closed
  • Monday 3 January 2022 (Bank holiday – New Year’s Day substitute day) – Closed
  • Tuesday 4 January 2022 – Normal opening hours (9am to 5pm)

If you need Wokingham Borough Council outside these times, please use these emergency out of hours numbers for certain matters.

  • Emergency out of hours – 0800 212 111
  • Social services emergencies out of hours – 01344 351999
  • Council properties, out of ours repairs (general repairs) – 0800 515287
  • Council properties, heating repairs and gas repairs – 0800 3898789
  • Community mental health crisis team – 0300 365 9999

Library opening times

All Wokingham Borough Libraries will be closed on 25 December to 28th December and 1 January to 3 January 2022.

On Friday 24 December and Friday 31 December, there will be early closure of 1pm at Twyford Library and early closure of 3pm at Wokingham, Lower Earley, Winnersh and Woodley Libraries. Wargrave Library will be closed on both dates.

Finchampstead Library will be closed from 1pm on 24 December to 3 January inclusive.

Read the Council’s find a library webpage for more details on when your nearest one is open.

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reading buses

New consultation on bus routes in Wokingham Borough

Have your say on bus services

Bus routes in Wokingham town could be extended to serve new housing under a proposal that is part of a review of bus routes across Wokingham borough.

Wokingham Borough Council subsidises most of the services it is reviewing. The Council is now seeking resident’s views on the proposed new bus routes, along with changes to some existing services, because existing contracts end in May so new ones must be drawn up soon.

The survey, launched last week, reviews the existing bus service across the borough to look at what is currently working for residents and what might need changing. The Council is already proposing several changes to better serve residents.

Proposed changes

The council suggests extending a circular section of Thames Valley Buses’ 121 route, which covers the Norreys estate off London Road, to serve new homes off Diamond Jubilee Way and Oak Drive.

A new route, bus 126 is proposed that could be funded by companies building new homes in the council’s North Wokingham major development. The new route 126 would form a loop serving the Norreys estate via Binfield Road. This would return to the town centre via Toutley Road, Matthewgreen Road, Milton Road, Holt Lane and Reading Road, stopping at both The Emmbrook School and The Holt School on the way.

The existing 122/123 routes from the town centre to Woosehill, extending to Emmbrook in the off-peak, would be unchanged, as would the 128/129 route from Reading to Wokingham town via Twyford. However, the latter’s Saturday service between Twyford and Maidenhead could be reviewed.

Minor changes are proposed to the 125/A/B routes to ensure consistency while the 124, an off-peak service covering London Road and Easthampstead Road, could be withdrawn as it has only one or two passengers daily and might be better served by voluntary groups.

Reading Buses’ Leopard services 3, 8 and 9 from Reading to Shinfield, Arborfield, Finchampstead and Wokingham would be mostly unchanged, although it might be possible to run buses between Arborfield and Wokingham twice per hour instead of hourly.

Again, this could be funded by housebuilders working in the council’s major development at the former Arborfield Garrison.  Routes 8 & 9 may also be changed with funding available from the Shinfield and Spencers Wood developments.

The consultation is open until 16 January and residents can respond via the Engage Wokingham Borough platform. For anyone needing help with the survey, please contact Wokingham Borough Council by calling 0118 974 6000 or emailing

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Woodford Park Leisure Centre opening hours Christmas 2021

Woodford Park Leisure Centre’s Christmas Hours

All other dates open as normal

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covid 19

Covid Lateral Flow Test kits

Covid-19 testing (Lateral Flow Testing)

covid 19

Free Covid-19 testing for everyone

All residents across Wokingham Borough can now access free, regular, rapid Covid-19 tests. These are for people with no Covid-19 symptoms.

This is important for identifying cases of Covid-19 that we would otherwise not find, as 1 in 3 people who are infected with the virus won’t have any symptoms, meaning they’ll spread it to others without realising.

Getting into the habit of regular testing will help to keep everyone safe. 

If you have Covid-19 symptoms

Please book a test through the website if you have symptoms of Covid-19.

Lateral Flow Testing

The rapid Covid-19 test used for people with no symptoms is called a Lateral Flow Test. It delivers results within 30 to 45 minutes. Read Wokingham Borough Council’s Lateral Flow Testing Frequently Asked Questions (PDF document) to find out more. 

Getting a negative Lateral Flow Test result does not give you immunity to Covid-19. 

Where to get your test

Walk-in appointments are available the week commencing 13 December, at the following sites:

Shute End Test Centre (Civic Offices, Shute End, RG40 1BN):

  • Open 8.30am to 3.15pm, Monday to Saturday

Mobile testing units:

  • Woodley Library (RG5 4JA), Monday 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Finchampstead Baptist Centre (RG40 4ES), Monday and Tuesday 1.45pm to 3.30pm
  • Twyford Library (RG10 9RP), Monday 10am to 12.30pm, Wednesday 10am to 4pm, Thursday 10am to 1pm
  • Finchampstead Library, FBC (RG40 4ES), Monday and Tuesday 9am to 1pm, Thursday 9am to 12.30pm
  • California Ratepayers Hall, Finchampstead (RG40 3RL), Tuesday and Friday 8.45am to 12.15pm
  • Asda Lower Earley (RG6 5TT), Tuesday 2pm to 4pm
  • Lower Earley Library (RG6 5HZ), Wednesday 9am to 4pm
  • British Legion, Arborfield (RG2 9PR), Thursday 2pm to 4pm
  • Cantley Park Christmas Market (RG40 5DQ), Thursday 2pm to 5pm, Friday 1.30pm to 4pm, Saturday 12pm to 5pm
  • Woodley Town Centre, Friday 9am to 3.45pm

Please note, the above sites are closed on Bank Holidays. Mobile sites can only operate if the temperature is above 10 degrees, and locations can change at short notice.

Home testing kits

You can also access home testing kits by ordering them through the website, collecting them from a local pharmacy, or collecting them from one of the static or mobile test centres.

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christmas rubbish and recycling collections

Christmas rubbish collections

There are no changes to rubbish and recycling collections this Christmas and New Year.

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Christmas hours Woodley Town Council

Christmas Opening Hours

Our normal hours are: M-T: 09.00 – 16.30 F: 09.00 – 16.00 (closed 12.00-13.00)

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Covid Pass 15 December

Covid passes

From today, Wednesday 15 December, you will need to show your Covid Pass in certain places where large crowds gather.

This includes nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people

It’s part of Central Government’s ‘Plan B’ measures to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant

The Covid Pass shows your vaccination details or test results. Find out how to get yours HERE.

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Readibus award Woodley Town Council

Readibus awarded for its service during the Covid pandemic

Woodley Town Council is delighted that ReadiBus has won an award for pandemic service provision

ReadiBus is judged at the CT Awards to have been the best community transport service in England (and a runner-up in the entire UK) for its service provision during the pandemic.

The CT Awards in November 2021 named ReadiBus as the best community transport service in England – and a runner-up for the whole of the UK – for its service provision during the pandemic. The award was in the headline category of ‘Community Transport Provider of the Year’ and the ceremony highlighted the service provided during the last 21 months by community transport organisations throughout the length and breadth of the country.

The ReadiBus service in Woodley is funded by Woodley Town Council and Wokingham Borough Council. ReadiBus General Manager, Peter Absolon, commented: “Our grateful thanks to Woodley Town Council and Wokingham Borough Council and our other funders for the amazing support that has enabled us to keep the service available for vulnerable residents in Woodley during the pandemic.”

Woodley Town Council Leader, Cllr Keith Baker, is thrilled that ReadiBus has won the award and is very proud that the Council continues to support this vital service. 

“It is with great pride that I speak on behalf of the Council congratulating ReadiBus on winning an award acknowledging the very important service that it provides, which has been in even greater demand during the Covid 19 pandemic. The staff and volunteers have gone above and beyond in helping the elderly, disabled and clinically or extremely vulnerable people of Woodley to make essential journeys safely during the pandemic, such as for attending GP and hospital appointments, food shopping and respite. Thank you for supporting the residents of Woodley.”

Bill Freeman, Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association, which held the CT Awards, offered his “huge congratulations for the incredible work over the last year and a half”, adding, “our judges were impressed”.

Helping those most in need

Throughout the pandemic, the ReadiBus service has provided a safe means for elderly, disabled and clinically extremely vulnerable people to make essential journeys, whether this has been for food shopping, medical appointments, respite or any other reason; and ReadiBus worked side by side with the South Central Ambulance Service to enable local people to safely get to non-Covid-related hospital appointments, such as for cancer treatment and dialysis, helping people when they were most in need. 

“I am delighted that our team have received this recognition at the CT Awards”, added ReadiBus General Manager, Peter Absolon. “There are hundreds and hundreds of community transport service providers in the four nations of the UK, all doing wonderful work, and for the ReadiBus team to be recognised in this way for service provided during such a challenging time as this pandemic is quite something. ReadiBus staff showed great commitment to keep the service available and to ensure that it was safe, especially during the first lockdown. People needed a safe means of getting out, whether that was to get food, to attend a medical or hospital appointment, for respite, whatever the reason. I am so proud of what we did and what we achieved together.”

Thanks from passengers

Those who relied upon the ReadiBus during the lockdowns were also very grateful. For example, Mrs Markham from Woodley commented during the first lockdown back in May 2020: “I know I’m safe travelling with you”.

The Chief Executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Steve McManus, wrote in a letter to ReadiBus at the end of the first lockdown (June 2020) that ReadiBus’ support “has been truly outstanding’ and that the service ‘has been a life-line for many”.

In total, over 60,000 safe essential journeys have been made on ReadiBus across the whole operation since the start of the first lockdown, including over 2,000 journeys during that first lockdown in 2020.

Peter Absolon, further added: “In the first lockdown, journeys had to be provided one at a time, for social distancing, with a deep clean after every journey in order to keep the travelling environment safe. It was difficult to source enough PPE at the outset but the ambulance service were great and helped us with that and we always had just enough for what we needed each day. We were very strict in our procedures – our team were determined to keep the virus out and to keep safe both ourselves and everyone who needed to travel. Some staff teams rotated to get breathers but the service itself remained available every day. It was exhausting – but it was what was needed.”

As well as giving people the means and the confidence to make the essential journeys that they needed to make, the ReadiBus team also made hundreds of calls to people who were on their own who were not making journeys, to check they were OK. The comments that the team received from those contacted included, for example, “It’s so nice to talk to someone rather than myself”.

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lateral flow testing for close contacts with covid

Lateral flow tests

From today – 14 December – if a close contact tests positive for Covid 19, you must take daily lateral flow tests, even if you are double vaccinated.

Find out how to get test locally here:

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