Slough has been named as one of the covid-19 ‘areas of concern’ by Public Health England (PHE) and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The designation comes following a rise in the number of positive cases within the borough across the last two weeks, though that number is now falling again.

It also takes into account the black and minority ethnic population which is known to be disproportionately affected by covid-19, as well as previous high levels of infection at the beginning of the lockdown.

There is no clear link to any individual venue or workplace

Josie Wragg, Slough Borough Council's chief executive, said: “Residents do not need to be unduly worried, but this serves as a timely reminder that covid-19 is still out there, still circulating in our community and still affecting local people.

“It has not gone away, we are not back to normal and to protect everyone in our town people need to follow the advice on handwashing, face coverings and social distancing, get tested at the first hint of symptoms and if a test is positive self isolate and take part in the test and trace system to the best of their ability.

“Each week the effects of covid-19 become clearer and more widespread as people report symptoms lasting days, weeks or in some cases months; and the longer term effects on health are still not known."

The council has a local outbreak management cell in place which meets daily to analyse the latest outbreak data and plan local preventative measures.

It is currently assessing whether to put in a place a local tracing system with volunteers to enhance the national provision and looking at sites for another testing centre based in local communities.

Businesses have been offered advice on how to maintain safety and how to report an outbreak and the food and safety team has been visiting key shopping areas in the borough to ensure compliance with the regulations.

The One Slough volunteer hub for those who need practical help such as food and medicine deliveries because they are isolating remains in place though official shielding has now ended.

Slough MP Tan Dhesi said: "Slough has been named as an area of concern, but it is not an area requiring intervention, given that numbers are comparatively low and are decreasing.

"However, what this does show us is that we cannot be complacent. We must remain vigilant, doing our best to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this deadly virus.

"To ensure this message gets out to our community, I have been working with the council and local organisations, and recording multi-lingual video messages to inform residents how they can keep safe and requesting everyone that we must work together to overcome this virus."