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    Furious Slough locals blame lockdown flouters for rise in Covid cases as borough enters Tier 3

    Furious Slough locals tell lockdown flouters to ‘learn to follow the rules’ as borough is plunged into high-risk Tier 3 following a spike in Covid-19 cases

    • Slough locals blamed lockdown rule-breakers who don’t wear face masks for a rise in coronavirus cases
    • Borough was placed into Tier 3, with restaurants and pubs shuttered and high-rise offices in darkness 
    • Slough’s coronavirus infection rate is double that of its neighbouring local areas, at 304.3 per 100,000
    • Experts blame rise in cases on deprivation, while a councillor said many families live in the same household 

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    Furious Slough locals today scolded lockdown rule-breakers who don’t wear face masks or keep a social distance  for the borough being plunged into Tier 3 amid rising cases of coronavirus

    While other parts of Berkshire – including neighbouring Windsor where the Queen will spend Christmas – are under Tier 2 restrictions, Slough has been put on ‘high alert’ for the spread of the virus. 

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered while high-rise offices stood in darkness, with workers staying home, as Boris Johnson‘s brutal post-lockdown regime came into force this week.

    The Queensmere shopping centre was deserted with only essential stores open while a giant Tesco supermarket close to Slough railway station was by far the busiest shop open. Other businesses which remained open included smaller grocery stores along the High Street and department stores like The Range and B&M.

    All stores in Tier 3 are allowed to stay open with just pub and restaurants closed unless offering take away food, while hotels within the borough have also been ordered to stay closed. 

    Official figures show that Slough had a Covid-19 infection rate double that of each of its four neighbours in the week ending November 28, at 304.3 per 100,000. Despite the four-week lockdown, cases appeared to have stalled having only dropped 2.2 per cent compared to the previous week. 

    Locals have blamed a higher rate of coronavirus cases – and the enforcement of draconian Tier 3 measures – on rule-breakers who refuse to wear masks mandated for all indoor public spaces. They also blame a lack of social distancing, which was first encouraged by the Government in March, for the higher infection rate.  

    Layla Abraham said too many people failing to wear masks or social distance had led to a huge spike in cases. The 24-year-old told MailOnline: ‘It has to be people who are not following the rules. They are ignoring all the advice to stop the spread. It makes me angry, but there is nothing we can do about it.’

    Despite the Tier 3 status, a barber at the Two Geeza’s Barber Shop in Slough High Street failed to wear a mask while cutting the hair of a customer. His blue mask was below his chin and not covering his nose and face despite a sign at the entrance to the shop warning customers that masks were compulsory.

    Teenager Ibrahim Ali, 17, said he had lost his job as a waiter in a restaurant – and would be unlikely to get any work before the end of the year. Speaking to MailOnline, he revealed: ‘This has really affected me as I can’t do my job and I don’t know if I will get any more work. All the restaurants are closed.’

    While other parts of Berkshire – including neighbouring Windsor where the Queen will spend Christmas – are under Tier 2 restrictions, Slough has been put on ‘high alert’ for the spread of the virus

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered while high-rise offices stood in darkness, with workers staying home, as Boris Johnson's brutal post-lockdown regime came into force this week

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered while high-rise offices stood in darkness, with workers staying home, as Boris Johnson’s brutal post-lockdown regime came into force this week 

    Shops in the middle of Slough were shuttered as the borough was plunged into Tier 3 restrictions amid rising Covid-19 cases

    Shops in the middle of Slough were shuttered as the borough was plunged into Tier 3 restrictions amid rising Covid-19 cases

    Shops in the middle of Slough were shuttered as the borough was plunged into Tier 3 restrictions amid rising Covid-19 cases

    Shops in the middle of Slough were shuttered as the borough was plunged into Tier 3 restrictions amid rising Covid-19 cases

    Yogesh Jassal said he thought people his age the younger generation were not taking coronavirus seriously, telling MailOnline: 'There are too many parties. People are not wearing masks of keeping the proper distance'

    Mother-of-one Daeamne Butkene said she planned to carry on with her usual routine and backed the Government's decision to place Slough in the highest category

    Yogesh Jassal (left) said he thought people his age the younger generation were not taking coronavirus seriously, telling MailOnline: ‘There are too many parties. People are not wearing masks of keeping the proper distance’. Mother-of-one Daeamne Butkene (right) said she planned to carry on with her usual routine and backed the Government’s decision

    Despite the Tier 3 status, a barber at the Two Geeza's Barber Shop in Slough High Street failed to wear a mask while cutting the hair of a customer. His blue mask was below his chin and not covering his nose and face despite a sign at the entrance

    Despite the Tier 3 status, a barber at the Two Geeza’s Barber Shop in Slough High Street failed to wear a mask while cutting the hair of a customer. His blue mask was below his chin and not covering his nose and face despite a sign at the entrance

    Above are the infection rates in Slough and the surrounding area by MSOA. The purple means more than 400 cases per 100,000 people. The dark blue means above 200 per 100,000, the green indicates below 100 per 100,000 and the white means less than three cases in the area

    Above are the infection rates in Slough and the surrounding area by MSOA. The purple means more than 400 cases per 100,000 people. The dark blue means above 200 per 100,000, the green indicates below 100 per 100,000 and the white means less than three cases in the area

    Above are the cases in Slough. They have been gradually dropping since the second lockdown was imposed in November

    Above are the cases in Slough. They have been gradually dropping since the second lockdown was imposed in November

    Above are the number of deaths from coronavirus in Slough by day. The number of people succumbing to the virus has not reached the same level as in the first wave

    Above are the number of deaths from coronavirus in Slough by day. The number of people succumbing to the virus has not reached the same level as in the first wave

    The borough of Slough is the only area on the county of Berkshire that has been placed in the Tier 3 category. 

    Latest data from Public Health England showed that 444 people in the borough tested positive for Covid-19 in the week up to November 26th. One particular area – Stoke Road and Wexham Park Road – saw the most cases with 50 people over that period testing positive.

    Health chiefs have not offered any explanation why there has been a surge in cases, but it is believed many households are multi-generational – which is thought to help the spread of Covid-19. 

    Yogesh Jassal said he thought people his age the younger generation were not taking coronavirus seriously, telling MailOnline: ‘There are too many parties. People are not wearing masks of keeping the proper distance.’

    The 22-year-old said he had lost his job as a waiter at a restaurant in nearby Heathrow Airport Terminal 5. Thousands of locals work at the airport and many have lost their jobs due to the decline of the aviation sector. 

    Mother-of-one Daeamne Butkene said she planned to carry on with her usual routine and backed the Government’s decision to place Slough in the highest category.

    ‘There must be a reason and people will have to learn to follow the rules if we want to get out the top category,’ she revealed. ‘I have taken all the precautions that were asked.’

    Drivers entering Slough from M4 motorway are greeted by digital signs warning that the area in in Tier 3, with the government message ‘hands, face space’ flashing up in the electronic boards.

    Diana Langmead said she hoped that the review of tiers later this month would see Slough drop down to Tier 2. ‘The numbers do seem to change quite quickly. I just hope they come down and we can get back to some sort of normal life,’ she said. ‘The High Street looks like it has been abandoned there are so many closed shops.’   

    Hillingdon, a borough of London, has the highest rate among its neighbours at 156.1 per 100,000, a 19 per cent drop from last week. South Buckinghamshire has the second-highest level, at 122.1 per 100,000, followed by Spelthorne at 114.2 per 100,000 and Windsor at 107 per 100,000.

    Bracknell Forest, also bordering Windsor, is the nearest council area recording a spike in Covid-19 cases – after they leapt 32.9 per cent to 88.9 per 100,000.

    There are signs that the pressure on the local NHS is slackening, as the number of Covid-19 patients on wards falls 33 per cent from 27 to 18 in the seven-day spell to December 1, the latest date for which data is available.

    Drivers entering Slough from M4 motorway are greeted by digital signs warning that the area in in Tier 3, with the government message 'hands, face space' flashing up in the electronic boards

    Drivers entering Slough from M4 motorway are greeted by digital signs warning that the area in in Tier 3, with the government message ‘hands, face space’ flashing up in the electronic boards

    All stores in Tier 3 are allowed to stay open with just pub and restaurants closed unless offering take away food, like Greggs

    All stores in Tier 3 are allowed to stay open with just pub and restaurants closed unless offering take away food, like Greggs

    Official figures show that Slough had a case rate double that of each of its four neighbours in the week ending November 28

    Official figures show that Slough had a case rate double that of each of its four neighbours in the week ending November 28

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered and high-rise offices stood in darkness

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered and high-rise offices stood in darkness

    The Queensmere shopping centre was deserted with only essential stores open while a Tesco was by far the busiest shop

    The Queensmere shopping centre was deserted with only essential stores open while a Tesco was by far the busiest shop

    The borough of Slough is the only area on the county of Berkshire that has been placed in the Tier 3 category

    The borough of Slough is the only area on the county of Berkshire that has been placed in the Tier 3 category

    Above is the infection rate for Slough (circled by a black border) compared to London and the surrounding area

    Above is the infection rate for Slough (circled by a black border) compared to London and the surrounding area

    Slough’s head of public health, Sue Foley, told a council meeting on Thursday that they were placed in Tier 3 because infections were falling at a slower rate compared to the surrounding area. 

    ‘Cases are coming down which is fantastic,’ she said, ‘but it’s slower than the rest of the country’. ‘In the rest most places are coming down because of the national lockdown but for Slough it’s just a slower rate, hence Tier 3.’

    She warned the town had failed to drive the virus down as fast as in other areas because many residents are in front-facing jobs – including bus drivers and shop workers – which increases their risk of being exposed.

    And said officials had placed it in Tier 3 because it has a large population of BAME people and those with underlying conditions – which puts people at greater risk of being hospitalised and dying if they catch the virus.

    Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the nearby University of Reading, said Slough was struggling to drive down its infection rates because of higher levels of deprivation.

    ‘Compared to the rest of Berkshire, the area has a local socioeconomic status,’ he told MailOnline. ‘This means people work in factories, as nurses, taxi drivers, and so on, basically jobs that require personal contact and with less opportunity to work at home.’

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered while high-rise offices stood in darkness, with workers staying home, as Boris Johnson's brutal post-lockdown regime came into force this week

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered while high-rise offices stood in darkness, with workers staying home, as Boris Johnson’s brutal post-lockdown regime came into force this week 

    Slough Councillor Mohammed Nazir told MailOnline that many families in the town do live together, increasing the risk of the virus being passed between age groups

    Slough Councillor Mohammed Nazir told MailOnline that many families in the town do live together, increasing the risk of the virus being passed between age groups

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered and high-rise offices stood in darkness

    Restaurants and pubs along Bath Road were shuttered and high-rise offices stood in darkness

    While other parts of Berkshire – including neighbouring Windsor where the Queen will spend Christmas – are under Tier 2 restrictions, Slough has been put on 'high alert' for the spread of the virus

    While other parts of Berkshire – including neighbouring Windsor where the Queen will spend Christmas – are under Tier 2 restrictions, Slough has been put on ‘high alert’ for the spread of the virus

    Explaining why Slough’s in Tier 3, he added: ‘There’s more virus in Slough, a population at higher risk, and a larger portion of the population with underlying risk factors for becoming hospitalised if they catch it.’ Increased personal contact with others raises someone’s risk of becoming exposed to and infected with the virus.

    Slough Councillor Mohammed Nazir told MailOnline that many families in the town do live together, increasing the risk of the virus being passed between age groups.

    ‘There are six or seven people living together in some houses,’ he said. ‘They are all working in different fields, and then coming back and mixing – that could be a factor (for the spread of the virus.’

    He said that although the community has generally been observing the rules, as with anywhere, he has seen groups of young people flouting the regulations.

    ‘When you walk around your area you see three or four young lads sitting in the same car together – and you know they’re not from the same household,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen people playing five-a-side football or cricket in full lockdown and, you know, you go over and have a word. You tell them: ‘You may be fit but your grandparents or parents might not be, and that’s a risk you’re taking for them’.’

    He called on the people of Slough to follow the Government rules in the town and just look out for each other.

    Swale, in Kent, is still the UK’s coronavirus hotspot after recording 566.4 per 100,000 in the week to November 28.  Local leaders have accused residents of flouting rules including wearing a face mask and social distancing as they called upon people to start taking the virus seriously.

    One councillor told MailOnline that in some areas people were refusing to wear face masks in supermarkets, arguing they didn’t believe there was any virus there. 

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