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Windsor braces for tourism slump in wake of coronavirus outbreak

With tourist hotspots and entertainment venues closing in Windsor, residents are being urged to ‘stay strong and positive’ as the town begins to feel the hit of coronavirus.

On Wednesday it was announced that Windsor Castle will close to visitors from tomorrow (Saturday) after the Queen moved to the Royal residence yesterday (Thursday).

Numerous events, including the annual Maundy service at St George’s Chapel on Thursday, April 9, have been cancelled.

“We need to stay strong and positive and get through this together,” said Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle), deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for Windsor.

She acknowledged it was going to be difficult for residents and shop owners in the town and called for everyone to be ‘as resilient as we can.’

Earlier this week it was announced that Theatre Royal and the Old Court in St Leonard’s Road will close until further notice.

Both venues ‘rely heavily’ on support from the local community and they have asked holders of tickets for cancelled shows to ‘donate the cost of the ticket’ rather than asking for a refund.

“It will help them be able to open again once all this is over,” said Cllr Rayner.

Cafés and restaurants are also braced for tough times after the Government advised everyone to avoid ‘non-essential contact’.

Windsor Library also closed its doors on Wednesday alongside youth centres.

“It was very sad to see the libraries close but it was something we had to do,” said Cllr Rayner.

While the Savill Garden and building has closed, Windsor Great Park will remain open, together with all car parks. These are ‘open spaces people can get out and enjoy’ while continuing to be mindful of social distancing.

Cllr Rayner added: “It’s going to be a different lifestyle but it’s important people help each other.”

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