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LIVE: Latest coronavirus news from across East Berkshire

This page will be updated throughout the week with the latest news and updates on the coronavirus outbreak in Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough.

Reporting team

Slough Borough Council says four residents have tested positive for coronavirus

Thursday, March 26

11.01am

Government releases coronavirus advice in alternative langauges

The Government has released its 'Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus' in 12 alternative languages.

This includes Punjabi, Urdu and Somali, Polish and Arabic, all languages commonly spoken in Slough.

Other languages include Gujarati, Portuguese, Welsh, Bengali, Traditional Chinese, Mandarin and French.

To read one of the sets of advice, or guide someone else who struggles to read English towards this resource, visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance 


10.05am

Tips to reduce garden waste following suspension of green waste collections

The Royal Borough has offered tips on how to reduce garden waste, following the cecasion of garden waste collections announced yesterday.

This includes reducing the frequency of lawn mowing, letting the grass grow longer, and building a compost heap or buying a compost bin to compost your garden waste.

The Royal Borough has also recommended 'grasscycling'. Grasscycling is the natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn when mowing.  

Grass clippings contain moisture, valuable nutrients, and decompose quickly. Grasscycling saves time and money and helps the environment.

Mowing time is reduced since bagging and disposal of clippings is eliminated. Grass clippings add valuable nutrients and organic matter to the soil and produce healthy, green lawns.

More information can be found at www.getcomposting.com 


9.55am

Royal Borough working on support for Council Tax Hardship Fund

The Royal Borough has released some information regarding the Council Tax Hardship Fund, and how it will apply to residents.

The fund is a maximum of £150 one-off payment for the year 2020/21. Residents will not need to apply for this. It will be automatically posted through council tax accounts as soon as the Royal Borough is able to do so.

The Royal Borough is working with its software supplier to ensure that each Council Tax Reduction customer receives support.

For any queries, contact benefits@rbwm.gov.uk


9.10am

Thames Valley Police 'will enforce' bans on public gatherings

Thames Valley Police has released a video advising residents that the police will 'enforce where necessary' the ban on meeting in public.

In a video on the force's YouTube, chief constable John Campbell reiterated Government guidance to stay indoors, except to exercise (in twos, alone, or only with people you live with) or undertake essential tasks.

"Please be assured that Thames Valley Police will approach these matters wth common sense and empathy. We will seek to encourage and persuarde, but we will enforce where necessary," said the chief constable.

The full video can be viewed here.


Wednesday, March 25

1pm

Weddings cancelled and green gyms shut in latest council closures

More council services in Slough are closing due to the continuing public health crisis of Covid-19.

The services affected are as follows:

  • Jobcentre Plus is closed. Residents can access support online at www.dwp.gov.uk or call 0800 055 6688.
  • All weddings, baptisms and citizenships cancelled until April 14. Funerals will continue.
  • All playgrounds and green gyms closed. Allotments and parks still open but residents cannot congregate.
  • All libraries, The Curve, Cippenham, Britwell and Langley are closed and no overdue fines will be issued.
  • Licensing service - existing licence holders who were due to renew at the end of March, April and May granted three-month extension to June, July and August respectively.

Council services can still be accessed online at www.slough.gov.uk or call 01753 475111.

11.40am

Vehicle owners exempted from MOT

Vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, to allow people to carry on with essential travel.

Click here for more information.


11.10am

Trading standards  issues scam warning

Trading Standards for Windsor and Maidenhead has issued warnings around coronavirus related scams, including fake offers of coronavirus testing kits.

For more information, click here.


10.52am

Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus

Clarence House has confirmed that Prince Charles has tested posted for coronavirus.

A statement said: "He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual.

"The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus. In accordance with government and medical advice, the Prince and the Duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland.”


9.53am

Community pub launches fundraiser to pay staff's wages

A popular community pub in Maidenhead has launched a fundraising campaign to pay the wages of its staff after it was forced to close by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Craufurd Arms, in Gringer Hill, has launched an 'SOS' online fund.

You can view the fundraiser here.


9.15am

The Royal Borough community hub, which connects the needy to volunteers during the pandemic, has been activated.

The hub will facilitate community groups and individuals who want to volunteer to co-ordinate their efforts and ensure that our most vulnerable residents get the help and support they need.

For more information, click here.


8:20am

Stafferton Way civic amenity site closed and garden waste collection suspended

Due to the new restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Stafferton Way civic amenity site is now closed until further notice.

In addition, the garden waste collection service is now suspended, in order to prioritise collections of rubbish, recycling and food waste.

Any missed weeks will be added to the end of the paid subscription at no extra cost when the service resumes.

General waste and recycling collections will continue as normal.


Tuesday, March 24

6.33pm

Public urged to keep safe distance from firefighters if experiencing coronavirus symptoms

Members of the public who are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 have been urged to keep a safe distance from firefighters if they are called to their home.

See the link here.

5.35pm

Government looks to recruit 250,000 NHS Volunteer Responders in fight against coronavirus
 
The Health Secretary has announced plans to recruit a quarter of a million NHS volunteers and open a new temporary hospital in a bid to tackle the coronavirus which has so far claimed 422 lives.
 
In a press conference this afternoon Matt Hancock MP said the 250,000 NHS Volunteers will be people in good health who can help with shopping, the delivery of medicines and to support people who are shielded to protect their own health.
 
He said: “NHS Volunteer responders is a new scheme set up so that people can come and help and to make sure that the NHS and the local services that are needed get all the support that they can.”
 
He also announced that a new temporary hospital with two wards, each with capacity for 2,000 people, will open next week.
The NHS Nightingale Hospital will be situated in the ExCel Centre in London.
 
In addition Mr Hanncock said the call for doctors, nurses, health professionals and pharmacists to come back to work had been ‘incredibly successful so far’ with almost 12,000 people pledging to return.
 
Also from next week 5,500 final year medics and 18,700 final year student nurses ‘will be moved to the front line to make sure we have the people we need in the NHS to respond to this crisis’.
 
Mr Hancock reiterated that people should stay at home, ‘except to shop for food, for medical reasons, for exercise of for work, including caring and volunteering in the coronavirus national effort’.
 
“The more we follow the rules, the sooner we will stop the spread so everybody has a responsibility to follow those rules and where possible stay at home,” he said.


2.50pm:

Police and crime commissioner deems 'severe restrictions' necessary.

After the Government announced last night that people should only leave their homes for food, health reasons, or essential work, the Thames Valley police and crime commissioner, Anthony Stansfeld, has had his say on the imposed restrictions.

He said: "These restrictions will be difficult for everyone, but are necessary if coronavirus is to be brought under control and the NHS protected.

"The powers likely to be given to the police to enforce these new rules are wide-ranging, but the vast majority of the public will do their best to obey them.

"The police do their jobs with the consent of the public, and should only in a few instances have to enforce these new powers."


12.08pm:

Restaurants and cafes could be prosecuted if they fail to comply with new Government measures

New powers have been given to Slough Borough Council to legally enforce the Government directive for cafes and restaurants to close their seating areas.

Venues can only offer takeaway food under new measures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

If cafes and restaurants fail to follow the rules, they will be advised to comply by the council.

But if they continue to flout the new measures they could be prosecuted by the council

Anyone with information about establishments remaining open should email foodandsafety@slough.gov.uk with information.


12pm:

Call for support for self-employed and freelancers

Self-employed councillor Joshua Reynolds has called on the Government to do more for freelancers whose work is drying up due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Cllr Reynolds is worried he may not be able to pay the bills over the coming months after his last contract dried up last week.

Read the full story here.


11.05am:

Car parks made free for Royal Borough residents

Royal Borough residents will now be able to park in several council-owned car parks for free.

As of this morning, residents will be able to park in the below car parks without needing to display a permit.

Parking will remain free until further notice.

Datchet: Horton Road, The Avenue

Eton: Eton Court, Meadow Lane

Maidenhead: Boulters Lock, Braywick Sports Centre, Hines Meadow (Sainsbury's), Magnet Leisure Centre, Stafferton Way, Town Moor

Windsor: Alexandra Gardens, Alma Road, Home Park, King Edward VII, Romney Lock, Victoria Street, Windsor Leisure Centre


10.35am:

Thames Hospice limits visitor numbers

Thames Hospice has closed its Day Therapy Unit for the foreseeable future to keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe. It now as limited visitors to those visiting patients only and/or those using the services, including lymphoedema and counselling. All visitors will be asked at reception if they have experienced the symptoms of a high temperature and/or persistent cough.

The Inpatient Unit will remain open and all patients who do not have coronavirus will be nursed in shared wards, and those with the disease will be cared for in single rooms.

Staff remain in regular contact with Day Therapy patients. The Advice Line is also available to patients and their carers 24-hours a day on 01753 848925.


Monday, March 23

8.45pm

Police handed powers to enforce new social distancing measures

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed powers have been handed to police to enforce the new social distancing measures imposed on the general public.

He said: "If you don't follow the rules, the police will have the power to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

"To ensure compliance with the Government's instruction to stay at home we will immediately close all shops selling non-essential goods."


8.35pm

Government announces strict new measures including ban on public gatherings of more than two

The Government has announced strict new measures in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The new measures include:

  • Ban on gatherings of more than two people outside
  • People limited to one form of exercise outside per day
  • People limited to one form of shopping for basic essentials only

6.54pm

Coronavirus cases rise in Slough

Slough currently has 22 cases of coronavirus, according to Public Health England.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has 13 cases. 

Cases in the country can be viewed here


3:10pm

The Windsor Parade has been cancelled

The Windsor Parade 2020 (75th Anniversary) scheduled on June 27, has been cancelled. On the event's Facebook page, the event organiser posted:

"Access to Victoria Barracks as the assembly area is uncertain, because of the army’s activities now and in the coming months.

"I am assured that the event will be rescheduled for next year and I will keep you fully up to date when planning begins for an event bigger and better."


3:00pm

Housing Solutions makes special arrangements for for vulnerable customers

Affordable homes provider, Housing Solutions, has made special arrangements for staff to phone its 600 customers in the 70+ age bracket.

The organisation is offering to use its extensive network to put people in touch with other charities and services that might be of help.

As such, Housing Solutions is asking for charities to contact them, in order to create a co-ordinated response.

For more details on services, advice and changes at Housing Solutions, click here.


2.34pm:

'Non-critical' meetings cancelled by Slough Borough Council

Slough Borough Council is cancelling a number of meetings which are ‘not critical’ to the immediate running of the local authority.

Panels and committee groups which do not have a formal decision-making role are being scrapped in a bid to comply with social distancing measures.

A council spokeswoman said: “This decision, not taken lightly, is very much in line with what other councils are doing and is helping us to adhere as far as is practicable to the advice we have been given as it relates to local democracy.”

The council said its cabinet, licensing and planning meetings will be further reviewed before a decision is made to whether to cancel them.


2.14pm

Royal Borough owned play areas and equipment to shut

The council has announced it will close all Royal Borough owned play areas and equipment today until further notice.

The parks and open spaces will remain open but people have been asked to stick to social distance guidance which includes keeping at least two meters apart.

A statement added: "We are working with our Parish Council colleagues to see if this is appropriate in areas where children's playgrounds are run by them. 

"Tivoli who keep our parks and children’s play areas safe and clean will continue to visit the play areas as part of their normal inspection regime."


2.03pm:

Wycombe District Council suspends recycling collections 

Wycombe District Council has suspended recycling services due to driver shortages. 

A statement on its Facebook page read: "We are working with our contractors to secure extra staff so that any disruption is as short as possible and further updates will be provided later today.

"The suspension includes both paper and card (box) and mixed dry recycling (cans, glass and plastic in bins). Recycling collections at communal properties (flats / houses of multiple occupation) will continue to take place.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and we ask you for your understanding and patience during what is an incredibly challenging time for everyone."


11.37am:

Ascot Racecourse suspends racing until end of April

Ascot Racecourse has suspended racing until the end of April but it has not yet decided if Royal Ascot will be cancelled this summer. A spokesperson said it is currently planning for it to go ahead but is making ‘no assumptions’.


8.45am:

Windsor Great Park closes all car parks

From Sunday evening Windsor Great Park has closed all car parks until further notice as a precautionary measure to maintain social distancing.

Nick Day, head of engagement for the Windsor Estate said: “We know how much members of the public enjoy fresh air and exercise in the Great Park and Swinley Forest but it has become apparent to us that keeping huge numbers of visitors safe through social distancing is no longer possible. With the Coronavirus crisis ongoing, we are taking this step to limit numbers in the Great Park and Swinley Forest and help keep people safe. 

“In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to follow Government advice, and keep this situation under review. If people do not follow social distancing guidelines, we will have no choice but to consider closing Windsor Great Park and Swinley Forest.”


Sunday, March 22

7.11pm:

Five patients who tested positive for coronavirus have died at Wexham Park Hospital 

A further five patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have died at Wexham Park Hospital.

The Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said each patient had an underlying health condition.

A trust spokesman said: "Sadly we can confirm today that a further five patients who were being cared for at Wexham Park Hospital and had tested positive for Covid-19 have died. All had underlying health conditions.

"Their families have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

In total, 12 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have now died at the hospital.


2:01pm:

People who visited The Ship pub in Marlow urged to self isolate 

A pub in Marlow has urged people to be 'extra vigilant' if they visited it before it closed on Tuesday.

The Ship, in West Street, announced on its Facebook page last night there had been a confirmed case of coronavirus.

The statement said: "We would advise anybody who visited The Ship in the days/weeks before we temporarily closed on 18th March to be extra vigilant around social contact and would strongly recommend you to self isolate. 

"Unfortunately we can confirm that there has been a confirmed case of coronavirus."


1.27pm: 

Government announces new measures to protect those at highest risk from coronavirus

People who face the highest risk of being hospitalised by the virus have been urged to shield themselves and stay at home.

The NHS will be contacting people with specific underlying health conditions this week.

This includes those who have received organ transplants, are living with severe respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe chronic bronchitis or specific cancers like blood or bone marrow. 

Dr Paul Johnstone, director at Public Health England said: "The NHS are contacting the people who are most vulnerable to developing a very serious illness as a result of COVID-19 with specific advice to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.  

"If you receive a letter it is vitally important that you act on it for your own protection, don’t attend any gatherings of friends or families and don’t go out for shopping, leisure or travel." 

The guidance for people at the highest risk is:   

  • Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
  • Do not leave your house for at least 12 weeks starting on Monday 22 March.
  • Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces e.g. family homes, weddings, parties and religious services.
  • Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
  • Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Do use telephone or online services to contact your GP practice or other essential services as and when you need.

It has also been announced that a new Local Support System will make sure those individuals self-isolating at home and who are without a support network of friends and family will receive basic groceries. 

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: "This will be an especially worrying time for those with serious underlying health conditions and that is why we are urgently acting to ensure extremely vulnerable individuals are taking extra steps to shield themselves, and that the essential items they need are supplied to them. 

"We will ensure that vulnerable and older people in our society are left in no doubt of their importance to us and our determination to protect them as best we can.

"More people will be required to be by themselves at home. While they are on their own, let’s guarantee that they are never alone."


12.27pm:

Age Concern set ups phone lines for the elderly 

Age Concern Sough and Berkshire East (ACSBEC) now has four phone lines which will go live ‘on the very day’ the Government officially recommend self-isolation for people over the age of 70.

The phone service, called ‘Hear for You’, will be open from 10am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday. The lines will be manned by the experienced Age Concern team, who are all trained and DBS-checked.

Click here to read the full story. 


12.02pm:

Slough community pulls together to help vulnerable during coronavirus outbreak

Free food deliveries, prescription pick-ups and dog walking are just some of the services kind-hearted residents are offering to vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

An array of community initiatives are starting up across Slough as volunteers look to help out those who are self-isolating and in need.


10.35pm:

National Trust announces closure of all parks, gardens and houses

The National Trust announced last night it has closed all its parks, gardens and houses to avoid crowding that puts social distancing at risk.

Cliveden National Trust had to shut yesterday due to high demand.

Director General Hilary McGrady said: "Despite our desire to keep our outdoor spaces open, the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors has to be our top priority.

"Having observed the numbers visiting our places today, I am no longer convinced we can maintain social distancing over Mother’s Day when numbers are likely to grow, and beyond."


Saturday, March 21

10.41pm:

Three patients die at Wexham Park Hospital who had tested positive for coronavirus 

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has announced that three patients, who had tested positive for coronavius, have died.

A man and a woman in their 90s and another man in his 80s died between Tuesday and Thursday last week. All three patients had underlying conditions. 

A statement on its website read: "Their families have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

"The Trust, DHSC, NHS England and NHS Improvement will not be giving out any further information on these patients."


3.05pm:

Slough Foodbank appeals for donations 

Foodbanks across the area have appealed for donations. 

Slough Foodbank manager Sue Sibany-King said: “We’ve lost about one third of our workforce because most people are 70 or over and a lot are self-isolating due to various health issues and that’s why we’re really up against it.”


2.55pm:

Coronavirus cases rise in Slough 

There are currently 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Slough, and 13 in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Public Health England figures can be viewed on its dashboard. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-track-coronavirus-cases


1.30pm:

Cliveden National Trust closed due to high demand  

Cliveden National Trust has announced it has closed its grounds due to high demand.

A statement on the trust's Facebook page said: "We are sorry to have had to close Cliveden as high demand means we can’t ensure social distancing is observed.

"The health of our staff, volunteers and visitors remains our top priority and we're following Government social distancing guidance.

"Please keep checking the website for updates."

This week the National Trust said it would be opening its gardens and apartments for free during the coronavirus outbreak.


11.23am:

Further changes to services at Slough Borough Council 

Slough Borough Council has announced further closures and changes to services. 

The following children's centres are closed until further notice: 

Yew Tree Road, Vicarage Way, Elliman Avenue, Wrexham Road, St Andrew’s Way, Orchard Avenue.

Childcare for the children of key workers and vulnerable children will be moved to Penn Rd Children's Centre.

The remaining centres at Monksfield Way, Chalvey Grove and Romsey Close centres will act as information points.

Appointments are still going ahead at the Register Office at The Curve but if people coming for an appointment are self-isolating or feeling unwell to ask someone else to attend the appointment on their behalf.

The appointments must be booked in advance by phone on 01753 787600 as there is no longer and online booking facility.


10.42am:

Emergency funding available to help rough sleepers 

£3.2 million of emergency funding has been made available to help rough sleepers who need to self-isolate.

The money will be available to all local authorities and will reimburse them for the cost of providing accommodation and services to those sleeping on the streets.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "Public safety and protecting the most vulnerable people in society from coronavirus is this government’s top priority."


9.09am:

Fourth patient dies at Wexham Park Hospital 

A patient who had tested positive for COVID-19 has died at Wexham Park Hospital.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said a woman in her 80s, who had underlying health conditions, passed away on Tuesday.

She is the fourth coronavirus patient to have died at the hospital.


Friday, March 20

5.42pm

Eton College makes accommodation available to key workers 

Eton College will be making its boarding accommodation available to key workers locally who have family members who need to self-isolate at home. 


5.30pm

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces measures to help pay wages 

"Today I can announce for the first time in our history, the Government is going to step in and help to pay people's wages," the Chancellor says.

He adds a coronavirus job retention scheme has been set up which will apply to any employer in the country 'small or large, charitable or non-profit'. Grants to cover salaries up to £2500 a month of retained workers.

"This means workers in any part of the UK can retain their job even if their employer cannot afford to pay them," Mr Sunak adds.


5.24pm

Chancellor Rishi Sunak: "I know that people are worried about losing their jobs, about not being able to pay the rent or mortgage and about not having enough set by for food and bills.

"To all those at home right now anxious about the days ahead, I say this, you will not face this alone."


5.10pm

Prime Minister orders closures of all cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told all cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight 'as soon as reasonably possible' until further notice. 

Night clubs, theatres, cinemas, leisure centres and gyms have also been ordered to close.


4.40pm

GWR announces reduced service 

Great Western Railway has announced it will be running a reduced service to reflect the Government's advice against non-essential travel. Passengers should check www.gwr.com/travel-updates/check-your-journey for individual journeys.


4.06pm

Exam regulator announces further details on exam cancellations

Further details have been announced on cancelled exams and grades following the news that schools will close today (Friday).

The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer.

GCSE, A-level and AS level students will be awarded a grade which ‘fairly reflects the work they have put in’.

The Government said there will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year.

Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student .

The exam boards will also ask teachers to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe their student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

The Government hopes the students will have their grades before the end of July.

Gavin Williamson, education secretary said: “My priority now is to ensure no young person faces a barrier when it comes to moving onto the next stage of their lives – whether that’s further or higher education, an apprenticeship or a job.

“I have asked exam boards to work closely with the teachers who know their pupils best to ensure their hard work and dedication is rewarded and fairly recognised.”


3.51pm:

Windsor Foodshare struggles for supplies amid coronavirus panic

Windsor Foodshare coordinator Sarah Howard said she is expecting circumstances to ‘change significantly every week’ as essential items become harder to come by.

She said: “We have not been able to stock up on our supplies.”

More here.


1.19pm:

'Unsung heroes' praised for supporting vulnerable children and adults

The council's 'unsung heroes' have been praised for continuing to deliver support for adults in social care and vulnerable children.

In an interview with the Advertiser yesterday, Cllr Stuart Carroll, whose professional background is in infectious diseases, explained how adult social care and children's services will continue running during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Full story here


12.00pm:

Legoland to close from 5pm

Legoland Resort will close from 5pm today as a precautionary measure.

The Legoland Hotel will remain open for guests and updates will be posted on the website https://www.legolandholidays.co.uk/legoland-windsor-hotels/legoland-resort-hotel.html


11.57am:

South Western Railway to reduce services

South Western Railway has announced it will be operating a revised timetable to ‘reduce the spread of coronavirus.’

Train services will be reduced from Monday to support key workers while following the Government’s advice to avoid non-essential travel.


11.16am:

The Advertiser and Express offices have shut their doors today as our staff members move to home working. We are still working flat out to bring you the news and intend to publish our newspapers as normal on Thursdays and Friday.

You can still reach us with any queries, adverts or stories by calling 01628 680280.


11.06am:

Call to businesses

Do you run a business in Maidenhead, Windsor or Slough that is being affected by coronavirus? Is the outbreak forcing you to do things differently?

Chief reporter George Roberts wants to hear from businesses in the area to see how they are adapting to life during the outbreak.  

Email georger@baylismedia.co.uk


11.01am:

Coronavirus latest from around the Royal Borough

Three women who had tested positive for COVID-19 have died at Wexham Park Hospital, the trust which runs the hospital confirmed on Monday.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said the first two patients, who died on Tuesday, March 10 and Friday, March 13, were both in their 90s and both had underlying health conditions.

The third patient, an 88-year-old woman, died last week. She also had an underlying health condition.

The hospital also announced on Wednesday, March 11 that ‘a small number of staff’ had been sent home to self-isolate after they tested positive for the virus.

On Tuesday, new visitor restrictions were introduced at Frimley Health’s hospitals, including Wexham Park and Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot.

It said people who are vulnerable as a result of their medication, have a chronic illness or are over the age of 70 should not visit any health and care settings.

Visitors must be immediate family or carers and people have been asked to consider other ways of keeping in touch such as phone calls.

The trust has also advised that visitors should be limited to one per patient, with some exceptions such as for patients receiving end of life care.

On Tuesday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak unveiled financial measures including £330bn in loans and £20bn in other aid to help keep businesses around the country afloat during the outbreak.

He promised to give all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors a one-year holiday from their rates bill. He added that grants between £10,000 and £25,000 would be offered to small businesses.

For those who are in financial difficulty as a result of the virus, mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Sunak said: “We have never in peacetime faced an economic fight like this one.

“I know that people’s anxiety about the disease itself is matched only by their anxiety about their livelihoods.

“I promise to do whatever it takes to support the economy through this crisis.”


10:55am: 

Changing of the Guard postponed

The ceremonial of the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace has been postponed until further notice in keeping with the Government’s advice to avoid mass gatherings.

10.26am:

Coronavirus patients rise in Royal Borough and Slough

The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in the Royal Borough and Slough has increased.

Royal Borough: 13 confirmed cases

Slough: 17 confirmed cases


9.37am:

Vulnerable children to continue going to school

The borough's most vulnerable children will carry on going to school as institutions shut their doors to most pupils.

In advice published yesterday (Thursday) evening, the Government asked parents to keep children at home 'wherever possible' to limit the spread of coronavirus.

However, schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers (see full list in next post down).

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.


9.07am:

Government publishes key worker list of children to remain at school

A list of key workers whose children must carry on going to school while the majority stay at home has been published by the Government.

With the nation's schools closing from today for most children, those whose parents are considered key workers must continue attending.

Parents have been asked to keep their children at home if possible, but for those who work in the following roles, schools will remain open for their kids.

In the healthcare sector, this includes but is not limited to: doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other front line health and social care staff, including volunteers, support and specialist staff, those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

In the education and childcare sector, this includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and specialist education professionals.

Those delivering key public services, including those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key front line services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

In local and national Government, this includes the administrative occupations essential to the delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

In the food industry, this includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

In the public safety and national security sectors this includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (who are involved in working against the COVID-19 outbreak), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

In the transport industry, this includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Many staff involved in utilities, communication and financial services will also be required to continue working.

If your child's school is closed, contact the Royal Borough

View the full list of occupations here


Thursday March 19, 6.02pm

Non-urgent operations at Wexham Park suspended for three months

Wexham Park Hospital has suspended non-urgent elective operations as hospitals across the UK look to free up as many beds as possible during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Frimley Health Trust confirmed today (Thursday) that it will follow the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and suspend all non-urgent elective procedures from Wednesday, April 15 for at least three months.

Freeing up beds will enable the hospital to cope with the number of COVID-19 patients when the virus peaks.

Other procedures are also likely to be rescheduled as the hospital adapts its resources.

Urgent emergency care and cancer treatments will carry on as normal. All those whose procedures are set to be cancelled will be contacted by the hospital.

Many outpatient clinics will also be postponed or rearranged as telephone consultations.


5.10pm:

The organisers of the Holyport Village Show have cancelled their spring meeting on Friday, April 3.

Updates on the village show itself is to be confirmed. The show is scheduled for Saturday September 12, 2020 at 2pm.


5:00pm:

The Queen has issued a message of solidarity and support to the public as she and Prince Philip arrive at Windsor Castle. Read the full story here https://www.windsorexpress.co.uk/news/windsor/157460/queen-sends-message-to-the-public-as-she-arrives-at-windsor-castle.html


4:50pm:

The Marlow Schools Eco Conference has been postponed. It was due to take place on March 26. The conference was set to be the first of its kind in the area. The organisers are seeking to rearrange to a future date.


4.45pm:

The Charity Youth Concert due to take place at All Saints Church in Marlow on Saturday (March 21), has been called off. 

The Rotary Club will still make a donation to the performers - the Chiltern Music Academy - despite the cancellation, and it is hoped the event can go ahead as normal next year.

For a ticket refund, contact the person or organisation you purchased them from.


3.15pm:

In view of the current situation with regard to coronavirus, Bray Senior Citizens Club regrets to announce that all meetings will be cancelled for the foreseeable future.


3.09pm:

Slough council reassures residents

Slough Borough Council has reassured residents that they will continue to provide all essential services as normal – although some council events have been postponed or cancelled to focus on the coronavirus outbreak.

The registration service will continue to operate to record births, deaths and marriages. However, their assistance with the European Settlement Scheme is suspended until further notice.

In a joint statement yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, leader of the council James Swindlehurst and chief executive Josie Wragg said: "It is now clear that the coronavirus pandemic is set to challenge us all in ways we have never experienced before.

"With all the uncertainty one thing is for sure, we will need to work together and help each other wherever and whenever we can.

"Our services, including social care, waste and children’s services, have well-developed plans that will ensure our most vulnerable residents get the support they need in the coming weeks and months."

The council also confirmed that from today (Friday) Slough concessionary bus pass holders will be able to use public transport for free 24 hours a day.

This will remain place for three months.


2.17pm:

Royal Windsor Horse Show, which was due to take place in the grounds of Windsor Great Park from May 13-17, has been cancelled.

More information here.


1.14pm:

The Maidenhead branch of a house building firm has announced it will donate all of the money it usually gives to community groups to those that specifically help the elderly in response to the virus outbreak.

Persimmon Homes, which has an office in Norden Road, donates money to good causes every month through its Community Champions scheme.

However, with many over-70s at risk from COVID-19, it has decided to use the money to exclusively support groups that work with the elderly.

This will come into effect next month.


12.55pm:

Buckinghamshire Council has revealed a series of political arrangements following the Government’s decision to delay the local elections for  a year over the coronavirus outbreak.

The elections, which were set to take place in May, have now been postponed to May 2021.

Martin Tett, shadow leader of Buckinghamshire Council said that while there are still details to sort, the new council will begin on Wednesday, April 1.

In line with guidance from the Government, all 202 shadow authority councillors are set to take their positions as councillors at Buckinghamshire Council from Wednesday, April 1 until May 2021.

The shadow executive members will also form the new council’s cabinet, until May 2021, while the council’s new constitution will be initiated on April 1, with new committees being established.

The Government is set to introduce emergency rules which will allow committees to hold virtual meetings for a temporary time.

Cllr Tett said: "While we are taking sensible steps to ensure political continuity for the new Council, I know some councillors had made personal decisions not to stand for election this year. It will of course be open to them to stand down as they planned or alternatively consider staying on for an additional year. Once we know what those councillors want to do, we can finalise our proposals.

"I have spoken with both the Lib Dem and Labour Leaders. We are all agreed that this is not the time for party politics. We all share the commitment to best serve the residents, businesses and communities of Buckinghamshire at this time of crisis. We remain in regular dialogue with Government and expect to confirm all legislative and other changes required as soon as possible."


11.40am:

Some sad news breaking this morning. A third coronavirus patient who was being cared for at Wexham Park Hospital has died.

Full story here.


11:30am:

The Royal Borough is waiving library fines and listing a collection of online reading resources to help keep people entertained and informed while social distancing.

Libraries in the borough are closed until further notice, following Government advice.

Read the full story here.


11.15am:

The pay and display car park at Cookham Moor is now free after the National Trust opened up its parks, commons and moors across the country for the public to enjoy free of charge.

Those looking for something to do outdoors (while keeping a safe distance from others) can enjoy a stroll or dog walk through Cock Marsh or along the river for no fee.


10.35am:

Windsor Guildhall will shut its doors to many for several months as a result of the outbreak.

This morning, the Royal Borough announced that the venue will not be taking new bookings until September.

Weddings that are already booked to take place in that time can still go ahed, but under 'reduced circumstances'.

Those who are affected are being contacted by the Royal Borough.


10.10am:

Many events across the area have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To see what has been called off in you area, follow the links below. Our lists are constantly being updated so be sure to keep checking back.

If you know something has been cancelled that is not on the list, email georger@baylismedia.co.uk

Maidenhead and Windsor cancellations

Slough cancellations


9.05am: 

The lead article in this week's Maidenhead Advertiser - members of the community join together to help the most vulnerable during the outbreak.

Read the full story here.


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  • Bingowings

    07:17, 20 March 2020

    Updated throughout the week. So it isn't "LIVE" then, is it, you morons. Try employing someone who understands technology. Oh, and your right click disabling script is laughable. Joke company.

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