THE health secretary Matt Hancock has insisted Slough will be supported by the government as the borough enters tier two.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Hancock told MPs Stoke on Trent, Coventry, and Slough will move into the ‘high’ alert level at one minute past midnight on Saturday (October 24).

He said this is due to rising rates of infection in these areas.

Matt Hancock added the government will support these areas in tier two including the recently announced business support for those organisations who will suffer with the further coronavirus restrictions.

Read more: This is what Slough council has to say about moving to Tier 2

Hundreds of thousands of people in those areas are set to endure tougher Covid-19 restrictions, with mixing indoors in any setting with people outside their home or support bubble to be banned from the weekend.

According to a 2019 mid-year estimate by the Office for National Statistics, 149,529 people live in Slough.

National restrictions still apply such as wearing masks, social distancing, and the 10pm curfew for restaurants, bars, and pubs.

Mr Hancock said: “Unfortunately, we’re seeing rising rates of infection in Stoke on Trent, in Coventry, and in Slough.

Read more: Which areas in Berkshire are in Tier 2? 

“In all of these areas there are over 100 positive cases per 100,000 people, cases are doubling around every fortnight, and we’re seeing a concerning increase in cases in the over 60s.

“We have agreed in partnership with local leaders to move these areas into the high local alert level coming into force one minute past midnight on Saturday.”

He added: “I would like to thank local leaders in these areas for their work they have done, for their cooperation, and I can assure the people of Stoke on Trent, of Coventry, and of Slough, we will support you all the way through."