THE number of Covid-19 cases in Wokingham is “increasing rapidly”.

That’s according to Wokingham Borough Council, which says residents “face the prospect of further restrictions if they continue to rise”.

Areas of England with a seven-day infection rate of at least 100 cases per 100,000 are considered for medium alert (Tier 2) restrictions.

Wokingham’s seven-day infection rate has reached 98.2 cases per 100,000 after 168 new cases in a week, and the total number of cases recorded in Wokingham during the pandemic has passed 1,220.

READ MORE: The areas of Wokingham which recorded the most Covid-19 cases last week

However, council bosses have not held talks with the government about moving to Tier 2 and they want Wokingham to remain in Tier 1, says council leader Cllr John Halsall.

He said: “We won’t go into Tier 2 unless we are told to.

“If you look at the (case) numbers today, they are actually levelling off. They are still rising, but not as fast as we expected.

“Our ambition is to stay in Tier 1.”

If Wokingham moves to Tier 2, people from separate households will be banned from meeting and socialising indoors.

Two areas which border Wokingham – Windsor and Maidenhead and Reading – have held talks with the government about potentially moving to Tier 2, due to rising case numbers.

Speaking last week, Cllr Jason Brock, leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “We cannot move the borough into tier two without moving the whole Reading area, which includes West Berkshire and Wokingham.

“There has to be a holistic urban area approach.”

Cllr Halsall said neither Wokingham or Reading wants further restrictions but agreed there is no point in imposing them on just one of those areas.

“We don’t have borders. We can’t have officers with guns repelling people,” he said.

READ MORE: Councillor says social distancing allegation is 'malicious attack'

The amount of pressure on hospitals in each area is also taken into account by the government, when it considers which restrictions should be imposed.

Last week, Meradin Peachey, director of Public Health Berkshire, said the Royal Berkshire Hospital is coping well with demand.

She told a council meeting: “They are starting to report small numbers of Covid diagnoses coming though A&E.

“They are starting to see more admissions for respiratory conditions and they are starting to use the High Dependency Unit for Covid.

“But they are nowhere near capacity, so it’s very small rises at the moment.

“It’s nowhere near the patterns we’re seeing in the north of England.”