FOLLOWING the major Christmas U-Turn announced on Saturday, which has devastated families across Berkshire with the news that Christmas plans would need to be cancelled, some of the county's areas have found themselves remaining in Tier 2.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday - just five days before Christmas - that the initial plans for a festive relaxation period over five days would be halted, with areas in London and the south east, including all of Berkshire, having to change their plans and stay at home without mixing with other family members.

But some areas which technically have a West Berkshire address have managed to escape the restrictions of Tier 4 due to a technicality.

Addresses in Highclere, Burghclere and Kingsclere may have Newbury in their address, but because they have a Basingstoke postcode, this means they can stay under Tier 2 rules.

Residents here can still meet up to six people outdoors, while most venues, shops and leisure facilities can remain open.

They can even attend events at Highclere Castle, made famous as Downton Abbey, whose postcode also comes under the auspices of Basingstoke and Deane.

Residents living on the border are advised not to travel into Tier 4, other than for certain reasons.

These include travel to work when working from home is impossible, travel for education or care, to attend medical appointments or visit a support bubble.

The latest figures available reveal that in the 24 hours up to 4pm yesterday (Sunday, December 20), Covid-19 figures for Berkshire are as follows:

  • Reading - 146 cases, 3,888 total
  • Bracknell - 108 cases, 2,335 total
  • Wokingham - 113 cases, 3,141 total
  • West Berkshire - 77 cases, 2,399 total
  • Slough - 158 cases, 5,456 total
  • Windsor and Maidenhead - 116 cases, 3,157 total

As well as Berkshire, other areas placed in Tier 4 include:

  • Kent
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Surrey (excluding Waverley)
  • The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
  • All 32 London boroughs and the city of London
  • Bedford
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Milton Keynes
  • Luton
  • Peterborough
  • Hertfordshire
  • Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring)