PUBLIC health chiefs at Bracknell Forest Council are working “closely” with the government to judge whether a move to Tier 2 restrictions is necessary to limit the spread of coronavirus across the borough.

Bracknell Forest’s covid alert level is currently medium, meaning it lies in Tier one of the government’s coronavirus restrictions. 

READ MORE: Bracknell Forest could be in Tier 2 'within weeks'

But the seven-day infection rate has risen 56.3 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to October 13 to 90.6 in the week up to October 22. 

Typically, local authority areas assume Tier 2 restrictions when cases surpass 100 per 100,000 people over course of a week. 

For now, Bracknell Forest remains in Tier 1. 

Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker, Chair of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “Given the rate of infection, we know that tighter restrictions will be inevitable across most areas of the country. 

“While we are not looking to enter tier two imminently we are keeping a close watch on all the data and intelligence available to us and we are keeping the line of communication open with central government. 

READ MORE: Map shows where in Bracknell has had the most coronavirus diagnoses in the past week

“We will move to a higher risk level as soon as the facts and evidence shows that we need to take further steps to safeguard our community from the spread of the virus. 

“However, at the moment we are asking the community to work with us to slow the spread so we can remain as medium risk.”

He added: “Bracknell Forest currently remains a tier one ‘medium risk’ from COVID-19 but we can’t be complacent as the number of positive cases in the borough has been rising – the most recent weekly data has shown a rise of 111 positive cases taking us to 835 positive cases since March. 

“Very sadly we have also seen two people die from the virus in the borough over the past month.

“In total there have been 73 deaths from COVID-19 in Bracknell Forest and while our numbers are comparatively low we must remember that this is not just a number – this number represents 73 loved ones: grandmothers, grandfathers, mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

We all have a duty to do everything we can to protect our loved ones from the virus, we need to take action to stop the spread, we need to do it together and we need to do it now. 

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“That means keeping your distance from your loved ones unless they are in your direct household, sticking to the rule of six, wearing a face-covering when you can’t keep a safe two-metre distance and washing your hands regularly.

According to’s latest data, the rate is now at 94.7 per 100,000 people in the seven days up to Wednesday, October 28. 

What does Tier 2 mean?

Currently, Bracknell Forest is in Tier 1, meaning it has a ‘medium’ covid alert level. 

Areas in Tier 2 have a ‘high’ covid alert level as they typically have more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days. 

This means residents will face tougher rules in what they can do. 

The rule of six no longer applies indoors, meaning only one household or ‘bubble’ is allowed together indoors. You are still allowed six people outdoors.

Care homes are closed to external visitors other than in exceptional circumstances under Tier 2. 

Under the ‘high’ alert, people may continue to travel to open venues but are encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. 

They should also avoid travel into Tier three areas where possible. 

All other restrictions listed under Tier One still apply, including guidance to work from home where possible, the 10pm closing times for hospitality, wearing masks in shops and social distancing where possible.  

How do public health experts at the council judge whether Tier 2 is right for the borough?

Bracknell Forest Council’s public health team closely monitors data and local intelligence daily, this includes but is not limited to, the seven day case rate per 100,000. The team carefully looks at:

-Positivity rate (which gives insight into community transmission)
-Doubling rate (which gives insight into how quickly rates are increasing)
-Hospital admissions (which gives insight into the impact on our services)
-Outbreaks in high risk settings, for example schools, and care homes (which gives insight into what is driving transmission)
-What is happening in neighbouring authorities (due to the virus not stopping at the borough boundary)