Reading’s mass vaccination centre at Broad Street Mall is operating at full capacity.

It is no longer offering walk-ins due to a surge in demand.

The Council have urged residents to protect themselves and others while waiting for their booster jabs.

Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock said: “Whilst none of us wanted to be back in this position again just days before Christmas, the fact is we cannot just wish this latest variant away and we need to take practical steps to beat it.

Read more: School closed after number of staff test positive for Coronavirus

He continued: “We want people to book their boosters without delay, but realistically they may need to remain patient before the system builds in the additional capacity needed. We know NHS colleagues locally are working extremely hard to deliver that.”

Cllr Brock said it was important to go “back to basics,” including wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly, keeping distance from people if possible and opening windows regularly.

The news comes as two cases of the Omicron variant were detected in West Berkshire, which includes areas of Reading like Calcot and parts of Tilehurst.

He warned NHS services will be under pressure in the weeks to come.

“Reading responded magnificently to the challenges of the pandemic this time last year and I have no doubt our community will respond again.

“Please follow the guidance as and when it changes, please get jabbed as soon as you can, and please stay safe.”

The council’s full advice to residents:

  • Wear a face covering/face mask when inside or in crowded places (like public transport) and ensure it covers your nose and mouth
  • Socially distance as much as possible when you’re out of home - remember 1 in 3 people with COVID don’t have symptoms and could be spreading the virus without knowing it
  • If you have visitors at home open the windows for 10 minutes regularly, which can help reduce COVID in the air and transmission of the virus
  • Regularly wash your hands – cover every part of your hands and fingers with hot soapy water, rinse well and dry using a clean towel.
  • Where you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol gel but wash your hands properly as soon as you can
  • Keep surfaces and other touch points (e.g door handles) clean