Frequently asked questions - What you need to know about Tier 3
Why is Slough being placed in Tier 3?
The number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and deaths in Slough has been higher than in neighbouring areas. To protect the community, health and care services, the Government, supported by the council, has placed Slough in Tier 3 - Very High Risk category.
What are the additional restrictions in Tier 3?
Being in Tier 3 means that there are additional restrictions for residents. On top of Tier 2 restrictions which were to observe the rule of 6, social distance, wear a face-mask and the maintaining good hand hygiene you now should follow the restrictions below:
You must not socialise with anybody outside of your household (i.e. The people you live with) or support bubble in any indoor setting or private garden
you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside in public spaces, such as parks
Non-essential retail can open in a COVID-secure manner
Indoor entertainment venues will be closed
Pubs and restaurants remain closed other than for takeaways
You should avoid travelling outside your area, other than for work or school
You should work from home wherever possible
Will schools be open?
Schools will continue to remain open. Children will remain in their class bubbles. It is important that when you collect your child from school, you maintain social distancing from other parents and children.
Can my child still go to nursery?
Yes, you can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders, after-school clubs and nannies. Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of your support bubble should not visit your home to help with childcare.
Will I be able to go to the gym?
Gyms will be open for individual exercise that is socially distanced, but not for group classes or activities.
Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place.
It is important for your health and wellbeing to exercise, in fact obesity and physical inactivity contribute towards worse outcomes of coronavirus.
If you are missing your regular exercise class, Active Slough offers online classes, many of which are free. Please go to: https://www.publichealthslough.co.uk/search-local-activities/.
Also make the most of the outdoors; walk, run or cycle in the fresh air if you can.
For more information and to view further ideas for ‘moving more’ head to www.publichealthslough.co.uk/campaigns/fit2fightcovid
Should I go to work?
If it is possible for you to do so, you should work from home. Discuss options with your employer to see if there are ways you could work from home or travel to work at less busy times. Walk or cycle in the fresh air where possible.
Can other people work in my home?
Tradesmen, nannies, cleaners and carers can all still continue to work in your home. You must maintain social distancing while they are in your home. However, no-one should work in your home if you or anyone in your household is isolating, or have symptoms of coronavirus
Can I visit a relative or friend in a care home?
In Tier 3, you cannot visit a care home. This is for the safety of care home residents who are very vulnerable. There are exceptional circumstances, e.g. end-of-life circumstances. Always ring the care home to check.
Can I meet friends in my garden?
You cannot meet friends in a private garden in Tier 3. You can meet people for a socially distanced walk in a public space, such as a park or public gardens (following the rule of six).
Meeting in larger groups is against the law. There are certain exceptions . The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
What about weddings, funerals or other religious events?
You can attend places of worship for a service in Tier 3; however you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble and maintain social distance.
Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces. All ceremonies are restricted to 15 people. Wedding receptions are not permitted.
Funerals must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes or linked ceremonial events (such as stone-settings) before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes.
Can I travel outside of Slough?
You can travel inside and outside of Slough, but only for work, education or medical purposes and you should only do so with people who you live with or are in your support bubble. You should try and limit the number of trips you make, plan your journey to travel at quiet times and always maintain social distancing. If the place you visit is in Tier 2, you must still follow the Tier 3 restrictions.
Please wear a face-covering if you visit any shops or indoor amenities and wash hands on your return home.
Please bear in mind that other areas and regions have different restrictions. Please check the advice for the area that you are travelling to by putting in the postcode here: https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions
Can I move house?
You can still move house. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings. Please click on the link below for more advice on moving house:
I need to isolate, what support is available to me?
The One Slough partnership is offering support for Slough residents. Those who continue to shield or are self isolating because they or someone they have been in contact with has Covid-19 symptoms can still get help and support with deliveries of medication, wellbeing calls as well as help with other areas of their life. One Slough can be contacted on 01753 944198 or by visiting www.sloughcvs.org/covid19/
What if I need further support with physical or mental health?
The public health team offer a range of resources and services for Slough residents. This includes tailored mental health support tools, smoking cessation services, weight management programmes and a range of other support tools. We also have bespoke support for residents having to spend large amounts of time at home through the “Health at Home” programme.
For more information visit: www.publichealthslough.co.uk
If a client is under Slough CMHT are they eligible to use your service as some had been declined previously?”
Normally being under CMHT which is secondary care, would indicate the client has a level of need which not be met within Primary care (Talking Therapies).
General we would signpost to CMHT for any care needs as they are under that service. Talking Therapies can sometimes offer support depending on the presentation and history of the patient but this would need to be discussed and agreed between CMHT and Talking Therapies.
Are you able to put the resources on the OneSloughwebsite? you could have sections listed there so that we can go to it. If you could also put your twitter feed there as well.
Yes we will be looking at doing this, as well as being available on www.publichealthslough.co.uk and the public health twitter feed @SloughPH
can we get all the helping links via email please
Further information can be found at www.publichealthslough.co.uk and we will be sending round the slides from the Zoom meeting to the champions.
Is there any data on the increase/prevalence of mental health in Slough during the first lockdown?
We don’t have any detailed prevalence data as yet, but we do have monitoring from some of our commissioned services, such as Kooth (our secondary school age mental health support service) which indicates an increase in anxiety, feeling of self harm, family and relationship troubles and loneliness. This is reflected nationally in some of the larger commissioned services which has shown an increase in anxiety, depression, isolation and loneliness.
We have national data on increased rates of mental health issues, but I haven't seen Slough specific yet, but I'm sure we will get that in due course.
What is the telephone number that shows on receiving telephone
It is a Slough 01753 number that is tagged as Slough Borough Council
Rajni - Regarding Local tease and trace
1) What is your success rate?
2) Is there spare contact tracing capacity in Slough?
The success rate has fallen recently due to a fatigue in messaging and people becoming more wary of contact tracing and giving out details. We currently have capacity within the team for all cases that are passed to us from the national system, but it is getting busier and more challenging as cases continue to rise.
There was a question regarding isolating if someone in your own family was asked to self-isolate because they were in contact with someone who was tested positive. I don't actually know the answer to that.
The person that has come into contact with someone with COVID should isolate for 14 days. Their family do not have to isolate unless any of them develop symptoms. Full information is available from
When are evictions on hold to?
Evictions are on hold until 11th January. The government is constantly reviewing this and may extend based on current coronavirus restrictions.
could we please discuss why there’s such a massive variation on use of PPE advice to staff at Slough schools?
We work closely with schools to ensure they are following the correct guidance and protocol for PPE, and schools are actively supported by the DFE helpline. We will look into this. If you have something specific e.g. specific schools, which you are concerned by then please email us at email@example.com for us to look into in more detail.
will workshops be repeated?
We will look to repeat the mental health workshop later in the year.
As time is of the essence with tracing, what happens if you cannot contact someone within the 36 hours timeframe you gave? Also what ID do you offer to help with trust/suspicion issue? Do you also have any check systems in place for people who should be quarantining?
Cases are tried 4 times within the 36 hours with a potential doorstop visit if needed. The calls come from a local Slough 01753 number and are tagged to Slough Borough Council. People are able to call back on the number and receive an official message with the details before being passed back to a call handler.
We currently don’t check up on people that should be quarantining. They are initially offered support by the local contact tracing team, and potentially by the national team, but due to the large number of cases it’s not possible for that to happen for each person.
Hi Rajni, does your support cover the weekend i.e. a phone call to check in with these track and trace?
The team at the moment operate Monday to Saturday via telephone and we’re expanding to door knocking in certain circumstances.
if so many positive cases don’t display symptoms, why are we only testing people with 3 of the symptoms?
This is down to capacity of testing centres and laboratories. It is being reviewed in the view to expand testing.
Is there evidence to suggest that if you've had covid the antibodies will protect you or is the jury still out on that?
The jury is still out unfortunately. Recent studies suggest that antibody protection fades over time, but they haven’t included the other ways our immune system protects us from viruses, such as through T-cell immunity. Emerging evidence suggests that T-cell immunity is having a larger impact on peoples immunity to the virus than antibodies are.
How many residents with a positive Covid test are sick and hospitalised in Wexham Park hospital?
We aren’t able to share this information right now, but a national portal which should provide this level of data is due to be launched by central government.
can we help all slough communities to move their social activities to online basis during current Slough Tier 2 restrictions?
Yes, and we would recommend that everyone reverts to online and virtual activities where at all possible. We can help with further guidance and information by emailing publichealthslough.co.uk
We have a detox clinic and we have been guided by the Spa we are using but what are the local rules on one to one therapy? we have PPE for the therapists
Individual businesses are different so it is worth checking the guidelines on www.gov.uk/coronavirus . However a health clinic such as this would still be able to operate subject to following the guidelines of the venue it’s based in and the standard health protection guidance i.e. hand washing, face coverings and social distancing.
What % of people show symptoms? I saw 65% of people don't know they have it. If that's true, is this a message we need to get out there?
This is still not clear. Some studies suggest that 40-60% of people are asymptomatic carriers. This is why social distancing, wearing a face covering, hand washing and reducing social mixing is so important.
Do we know the infection rate in Slough? What rate would mean that we go into Tier 3?
Our current infection rate as of 30th October is 171/100,000. We haven’t been provided with the criteria of moving into Tier 3, this is due to come from central government.
What rules should a Windsor resident follow when traveling to Slough?
As they are travelling from a lower tier (Tier 1) to a higher tier (Tier 2) they would have to follow the Tier 2 rules.
As long as we keep the numbers to 6 people maximum, are we allowed to meet multiple lots of 6 at different times? or is it limited to a bubble of max 6 people?
You are able to meet any other 6 people outside (whilst observing social distancing), but you are recommended to not mix the 6 as this essentially expands your overall “bubble” and can lead to risks of the virus circulating within larger numbers of people.
Hi there, i am a performer who is storytelling in Reading outdoors but if it rains, there is an alternative space but it is indoors. How does this work for me as a tier 2 resident? Ta.
Each organisation is slightly different so you should check which rules apply to you as a business, and the rules of the venue that you would be using. www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Regarding numbers for Slough, are people who have had a test at Montem and people in Wexham Park, both of which may include many who aren't actually Slough residents, included in the Slough figures?
The Slough data which we’ve presented and which we use is purely Slough residents.
How can other people become One Slough Champions & join the Zoom meetings?
They can sign up at www.oneslough.org.uk/champions
Are there any printed leaflets that we could collect from PHS to send out to neighbours? The leaflets are required for those don't follow digital media!
Yes. We can provide any material you might need. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with anything you might need. Thanks
Hello all, what efforts are being made to combat isolation amongst elders/vulnerable adults who live on their own? Here, in Britwell, we have been calling around neighbours etc to reassure them that they are not alone, as well as to ask if they need any help.
The OneSlough community response team is still supporting vulnerable residents and there are a range of local providers and organisations that are supporting social isolation and loneliness. More information can be found at www.sloughcvs.org , www.publichealthslough.co.uk and www.oneslough.org.uk
When are people exempt from wearing a face mask?
Places of worship can remain open in Tier 2 and you are able to attend, subject to not mixing with anyone else outside of your family or support bubble. Individual settings will have their own capacity limits based on social distancing and ventilation. Full information is available here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july
We are saying that in Slough we face greater risk - because of black and Asian population identified at higher risk and more multigenerational homes. So, how does the virus know the difference between 2 households mixing and 150 households that children meet at schools. Are we making our public health policies to tackle this sufficiently - why are we not advocating for blended teaching, so online option for school Is available..so only children that absolutely want to go to school need to go to school - rather than risk of fines or prosecution for parents who don't want to send kids to school?
We are following the national rules in regard to moving into Tier 2 and with the new restrictions. Schools have a range of health protection measures in place including operating in bubbles, dedicated contact tracing, keeping children home when sick, social distancing and better handwashing, all of which will help reduce the risk from a schools perspective. We continue to support and advise schools where possible.
What is the correct procedure for reporting people who are not following guidance - such as meeting others indoors?
We would encourage champions to have open conversations with people that might not be following the indoor mixing rules, to help them understand the issues with mixing indoors. If you are particularly concerned then you can report it to CV19Notifications@slough.gov.uk
The council is in the process of recruiting 8 covid officers who will support local hotspots and any issues that may arise across the town.
I know people who could not get a slot for a test at Montem and did not end up getting a test at all in the end. This access needs to improve for Slough residents if you are saying that the testing capacity is not used at Montem, but people cant get a booking.
Access to Montem has now improved and there is now additional capacity, including the ability to get tested without needing a booking. For those that are making a booking they are generally seen on the same day.
If you have a question please enter it now, we will add it to the FAQs and one of our team will answer it as soon as we can within business hours.
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