A FURTHER 146 people have tested positive in Berkshire over the past 24 hours.

Figures from Public Health Berkshire, using Office of National Statistics (ONS) updates, have reported the latest details which takes the county's total to 12,302 positive cases since the pandemic began.

It comes as the country passes the mid-way point of Lockdown 2.0, and data suggests coronavirus infection rates are leveling off in England and Scotland. ONS figures suggest a decrease in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The local breakdown for the past 24 hours as follows:

  • Reading - 32, total 2,365
  • West Berkshire - 20, 1,525 total
  • Bracknell Forest - 6, total 1,291
  • Wokingham - 31, total 1,842
  • Slough - 47, total 3,165
  • Windsor and Maidenhead - 10, total 2,114

The local seven-day rate of infection per 100,000 people is as per below:

  • Reading - 153.9 (Compared to 154.5 on Nov 9)
  • West Berkshire - 120.5 (Compared to 104.8 on Nov 9)
  • Bracknell Forest - 133 (Compared to 102 on Nov 9)
  • Wokingham -137.3 (Compared to 92.3 on Nov 9)
  • Slough - 344.4 (Compared to 235.4 on Nov 9)
  • Windsor and Maidenhead - 187.6 (Compared to 169.7 on Nov 9)

In today's national coronavirus news:

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that Christmas was "the most important holiday for people in this country", and that a consistent set of rules was needed so that families could enjoy celebrations together.

Speaking on Times Radio he said that there had been lots of debate about how to handle the festive period "in the age of coronavirus".

"What we're trying to do is ensure that we have a set of rules across the whole UK, so there's talks going on with the devolved authorities to try and agree a common set of rules," he said.

"...to make sure we respect the fact that we mustn't spread the virus further but also respect the fact that Christmas is a special time where people get together, especially with their families.

"It's about getting the balance right and allowing people to have a Christmas that undoubtedly will be different this year but still try to have that cherished Christmas with your family as much as possible."

Elsewhere, people who previously had Covid-19 are "highly unlikely" to become ill with the disease for at least six months, early findings suggest.

Researchers at the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust have found that healthcare workers who tested positive for antibodies to Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, did not develop symptoms of the disease again.

The research, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, is based on a large-scale study involving 12,180 health care workers employed at OUH.