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LIVE: Latest coronavirus news from across East Berkshire

This page will provide the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak from Thursday, March 26 to Wednesday, April 1. Check back regularly to keep up with the latest news from Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough.

Reporting team

WINDSOR 132646-1

Sunday, March 29


Government to review lockdown measures for first time in three weeks  

The Government will review the country's lockdown measures for the first time in three weeks.

The deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said during the daily press briefing that it could take six months for the UK to get back to normal.

She said: "Over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review. We will see where we are going."


Domestic abuse victims still allowed to leave home

The Government has said that victims of domestic violence will be allowed to leave home and seek help at refuges.

Slough-based domestic abuse charity Dash recommends people call the National Domestic Violence helpline, which operates 24 hours a day, on 0808 2000247 for advice including refuge accommodation.


Prime Minister to send letter to 30m households

Every UK household will receive a letter from Boris Johnson this week, urging the public to stay at home. It warns 'things will get worse before they get better'.


Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce

Police have released more details of their four phase approach to enforcing social distancing measures.



Update on confirmed cases

As of yesterday (Saturday), the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, compiled by Public Health England, stood at 44 in the Royal Borough, 69 in Slough and 23 in Wokingham.

Saturday, March 28


Thames Valley Police front counters close

Thames Valley Police is closing its front counters to protect staff and encourage people to self-isolate.

Front counter staff will be re-deployed to support the force.

Only people needing to answer bail or registered offenders that need to sign on can still visit the station during normal opening hours.


Call for local authorities to house all rough sleepers

The Government has called on local authorities to find homes for rough sleepers by this weekend to protect them from coronavirus.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is redoubling its efforts to find a home for everyone during the pandemic.


Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Royal Borough rise to 37

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Royal Borough has risen to 37.

As of yesterday (Friday), data from Public Health England based on confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 showed 37 cases in Windsor and Maidenhead, 59 in Slough and 22 in Wokingham.

Friday, March 27


Buckinghamshire council lift all parking charges

All council car park charges have been lifted and on-street parking restrictions relaxed across Buckinghamshire. 

All council car parks across the county will be completely free to use and most parking restrictions lifted. This includes parking on single yellow lines, limited waiting areas and in pay and display bays. 

Restrictions on disabled parking and on double yellow lines will however remain in force and penalty tickets will continue to be issued for these offences.

Leader of Buckinghamshire's Shadow Executive, Martin Tett said: "It should also make it easier for those key workers and volunteers who need to get around to help those most vulnerable in our communities."


Dorney Lake closed

Dorney Lake closed at 6pm to all access by car and on foot to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A spokesperson said: “Despite best efforts to remain open, the health and wellbeing of our staff and visitors has to be our top priority.”


Government to test frontline workers

During the Government’s daily press briefing, Michael Gove announced the Prime Minister has brought together businesses, research institutes and universities to increase the testing capacity for frontline workers.

The tests will determine if NHS workers have coronavirus, and if the test is negative they will be able to return to work immediately.

Hundreds of tests are expected to take place over the weekend.

The news comes after the Prime Minister and the health secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for the virus.


SPORT: Underwood calls for clarity from FA and National League on how promotion and relegation situation will be sorted

Slough Town joint manager Jon Underwood called for clarity from the FA and National League on whether the league season is going to be terminated and, if so, what the ramifications will be for clubs battling for promotion or against relegation.

He says the information is needed as soon as possible to give clubs the best possible chance of being ready when football finally does return.

More here.


Braywick Court School's online lessons prove popular

Educational establishments were closed by the Government on Friday but schools are finding new ways to keep teaching their pupils.

Some have turned to making YouTube videos, including Braywick Court School, which is making its films available to anyone – not just its pupils – to use.

More here.


Books, games and virtual workshops requested for John West House

The not-for-profit organisation that co-runs John West House (JWH) is asking for donations of books, board games, and offers of virtual workshops.

Browns Community Services (BCS) CIC has made the request on behalf of the 23 men staying at the provision who, like the rest of the UK, are asked to stay inside.

Council-owned JWH is run by Browns and the council and aims to get people off the streets and into long-term sustainable housing through a three-stage accommodation programme.

More here


Courtney Buses praises drivers

Courtney Buses has praised its drivers for being ‘heroes’ during the coronavirus crisis.

Courtney Buses General Manager Simon Fisher said: “With the Prime Minister’s declaration of a national emergency earlier this week we are firmly part of the effort to fight coronavirus.

“Our drivers really matter. They are providing the essential service to get critical workers to hospitals and care homes and for customers to get to the shops for basic necessities."

He added:  “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all our employees. Over the past two weeks, as the situation has quickly escalated, they have truly worked as a team to help keep us moving."


Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough residents Clap for Carers

Compassionate residents showed their support for the NHS and its staff last night by taking part in the Clap for Carers.

Well-wishers nationwide put their hands together as a show of gratitude for the NHS staff working tirelessly to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Watch video footage of residents getting involved here


Slough Foodbank has teamed up with Crowdfunder UK to raise emergency funds during the coronavirus crisis.

The charity, based in Montrose Avenue, said the virus is impacting its service on several fronts.

Full story here.

Thursday, March 26


Wexham Park Hospital has temporarily suspended all visitors to the hospital, including the maternity department.

Women are permitted to have one, well adult as a birth partner but this birth partner is only able to attend during the labour and birth. 

Birth partners will be asked to remain outside the wards when picking people up from the hospital.

The decisions were made to prioritise the safety of mothers, babies and staff.


Grants for self-employed people will match those for workers currently in furlough, it was announced this afternoon.

At 5pm today (March 26), Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced measures to protect the incomes of self-employed people against disruptions due to coronavirus.

The Government will pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus a taxable grant equivalent to 80 per cent of their average monthly profit over the last three years – up to £2,500 a month.

Read more here.


Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust car parks free for public and NHS staff

Members of the public and NHS staff parking at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust car parks will no longer have to pay.

The trust announced yesterday that the car parks at its hospitals and community sites will be free for all users.

The trust's hospitals are: Amersham Hospital, Buckingham Community Hospital, Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross Community Hospital, Marlow Community Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Thame Community Hospital, Wycombe Hospital.


Free car parking for NHS workers

NHS staff will get free car parking at hospitals, the Government has announced.

The parking costs will be covered by the Government, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed yesterday (Wednesday).

Local authorities will also offer free car parking to all NHS workers and social care staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

NHS trusts are responsible for setting car parking charges locally.

Mr Hancock said: “Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, and I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time.

“So we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.

“My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing.

“We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle COVID-19.”


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 


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 


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 with common sense and empathy. We will seek to encourage and persuade, but we will enforce where necessary," said the chief constable.

The full video can be viewed here.


Good morning, and welcome to the Advertiser and Express's second live blog on coronavirus updates. Every Thursday a new blog will be created and will be updated regularly. 

The latest edition of the Maidenhead Advertiser is now on shelves. If you are able to pick up a copy while you are out shopping for essential supplies, make sure you do. If that's not possible, you can still read many of our articles on the website.


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