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Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Orpington updates

Added on: 18th March, 2020 by O1

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Orpington updates

Last Updated:
Mon, 6 April 2020

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This page will be updated with news relating to Corona Virus (Covid-19) from businesses and organisations in Orpington.

For an overview of Corona Virus (Covid-19) click HERE

For the latest government advice click HERE

The government announced on 23rd March that people can only leave home for the following reasons:

• Shopping for necessities, as infrequently as possible.

• One form of exercise a day, such as running or cycling, alone or with household members.

• For medical or care needs, for example to help a vulnerable person.

• Travelling to and from work, but only if you cannot work from home.

The government also said:

• Police will be able to enforce the rules, and impose fines for people who do not abide by them.

• Authorities will force the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, as well as all libraries, outdoor gyms and playgrounds, and churches or other places of worship.

• All public gatherings of more than two people will be banned, apart from if people live together.

• Also prohibited are all social events such as weddings and baptisms, although funerals will be permitted to take place.

This will last for at least 3 weeks at which point the measures may be relaxed "if the evidence shows we are able to."


London Borough of Bromley is welcoming enquiries from residents to help those most in need if it proves necessary over the course of coming months in response to COVID-19. Residents who want to volunteer to help with practical tasks locally to their area are being encouraged to register to volunteer so that contact can be made should their help be called upon.

CLICK HERE to sign up to the council's newsletter.

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK

Orpington Covid-19 Mutual Aid is a group of local volunteers working together to offer support to those affected by Covid-19, particularly the most vulnerable. The Orpington Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook Group can be found HERE.


On Monday 23rd March the Prime Minister announced that all shops selling non basic necessities will close. Retailers will still be able to take online orders and deliver items to your home.

The following retail is excluded from the closure order: Supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, bicycle shops, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices, and banks.

Supermarkets have signed an open letter appealing to the public to shop considerately.

Boots are limiting the number of sales on certain products including paracetemol, pain relief, wipes, hand sanitizers and soap, baby sterilising products, baby milks and chldren's medicine.

Iceland are dedicating the first two hours of trading in the Orpington store (9am -11am) for the exclusive use of those of state pension age and vulnerable people in the community to complete their regular grocery shop. They are also encouraging contactless payments.

M&S Food are setting aside the first hour (8am - 9am) of trading on Mondays and Thursdays for older and vulnerable customers, and Tuesdays and Fridays for NHS and emergency service workers.

From Monday 23rd March Sainsburys will be open from 08.00 to 20.00 Monday – Saturday. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the store will dedicate 08.00 to 09.00 to serving elderly customers, disabled customers and carers.

NHS and social care workers will be able to shop in Sainsburys for half an hour before they open, from Monday to Saturday. Anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30 to 08.00 on these days.

Prioritised online delivery slots will be available for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers, some of whom will be contacted on Sunday 22nd March with information on when slots will become available.

Customers who consider themselves to be vulnerable and have not been contacted can visit Sainsburys Groceries Online website from Monday 23rd March for information on how to contact Sainsburys.

All grocery products are limited to 3 per customer - the most popular items, including toilet paper, soap and UHT Milk are limited to 2 per customers.

Tesco will prioritise one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am to ensure more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in-store.

The store is closing at 10pm and has set a three-item limit on all products, with a two-item maximum imposed on toilet roll and paracetamol.
Every Sunday stores will prioritise a browsing hour for NHS workers before checkouts open.

Walnuts Shopping Centre's Community Planning Weekend was postponed.


The government has instructed all cafes, pubs and restaurants to close - although food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.

Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so.

Gyms and leisure centres must close along with, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities, communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms. Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use must also close (excluding permanent residents and key workers)

ODEON Orpington is closed until further notice. If you have prebooked tickets online they will be refunded automatically.

Premier Inn will now be providing customers an opportunity to cancel their Non-Flex or Semi-Flex booking and obtain a full refund for stays from 19th March – 31st May 2020. The booking must be cancelled by 23:59 the day prior to arrival.


Libraries, community centres, and youth centres have been ordered to close

Clarkson Wright & Jakes remain fully operational with meetings now being managed remotely by phone/Skype etc. Sensible measures on travel and hygiene are being taken. You should contact your lawyer in the usual way to make arrangements.

Manak Solicitors are fully operational with additional measures in place for video calling. They are also running YouTube LIVE Q&As starting from tomorrow at 10am with their Director for Wills & Probate.

Saxon Day Centre is closed until further notice as of 4pm on 17th March 2020.

Thomas Dunton Solicitors will no longer offer face to face meetings because of the coronavirus, other than by prior appointment, when absolutely necessary. They will still be taking calls and conducting Skype interviews. Please call 01689 822 554 for more info.

Metro Bank has changed its opening hours in the wake of COVID-19 to Monday – Friday 10am to 4pm.

It will not be open at the weekends until further notice.

Metro Bank is also offering limited banking services which we would classify as essential i.e. no account openings in store. These will need to be completed remotely.


Everyone urged not to use public transport for anything other than essential journeys

Southeastern introduced an amended timetable on Monday 23rd March to ensure that vital train services for key workers can keep running throughout a prolonged Coronavirus outbreak.

Following feedback from passengers since the amended timetable's introduction on Monday, further changes have been made to the amended timetable, to ensure it better meets the requirements of those still needing to use our train services. These will take effect from Monday 30th March.

The main impact of the changes will be to provide additional train services in the early morning period when a high number of key workers need to travel. There will be changes and additional services on a number of the busier commuter lines, please see below:

Grove Park
• There will be an additional service - 05:00 Orpington to Charing Cross
Hayes Line
• There will be an additional service - 05:10 Hayes to Charing Cross
Southeastern Mainline
• There will be an additional service - 04:45 Tonbridge to Charing Cross
• The 07:00 Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells will start from Charing Cross at 0600
Chatham Mainline
• There will be an additional service - 04:25 Ramsgate to Victoria
• The 07:53 Faversham to Ramsgate will start from Victoria at 06:40
Victoria - Orpington
• There will be an additional service -04:54 Orpington to Victoria
• There will be an additional service - 05:28 Victoria to Orpington

All Southeastern stations remain open while the amended timetable is in place.

TFL are to run a reduced service to enable London's critical workers to make essential journeys

Congestion Charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone suspended from Monday to support critical workers

NHS staff to be given free access to Santander Cycles.

From Friday 20th March, there will be no Waterloo & City line

Until further notice, on Friday and Saturday nights there will be no all-night 'Night Tube' service or the all-night 'Night Overground' service that currently runs on the East London line. This is to ensure the resilience of the regular Tube and Overground services. Late services on both the Tube and Overground will continue to run for essential journeys.

London buses will operate fewer services, but TfL's extensive night bus network will continue to provide critical workers with a reliable night option on Friday and Saturday nights and throughout the week.


All schools in England are to shut on Friday 20th March except to children of key workers and the most vulnerable children.

The Department for Education has published a list of “key workers” whose children will be prioritised for schooling during general closures because of coronavirus. Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a number of children but will be closed to the majority from Monday 23 March. The following are considered key workers:

Health and social care
Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare
Nursery, teaching staff and social workers.

Key public services
Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government
Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.

Food and other necessary goods
Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.

Public safety and national security
Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.

Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.

Utilities, communication and financial services
Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.

More info HERE


On 23rd March the government ordered the closure of places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate family

All Saints Church have cancelled services until further notice.

Hope Church have cancelled services until further notice.

Orpington Baptist Church have cancelled services until further notice. They will be broadcast live from Facebook, Youtube & Zoom. From next week, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes. A Meals on Wheels service is running providing home cooked meals delivered to your door for £5.

Orpington Methodist have cancelled services until further notice.

St John's URC have cancelled services until further notice.

All information correct at time of publishing - if you have an update please email info@orpington1st.co.uk

Comments (12)

Rate +1

Elizabeth De Gouveia - 28 Mar, 2020 - 07:49AM

I have a cafe in pettswood we are delivering homemade meals,also groceries , medicines and any help to any vunerable or isolating people. 01689871876 between ,11_6

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Debbie Maher - 23 Mar, 2020 - 22:38PM

I can help I run a retirement scheme I pop out for my residents, no trouble to get things for you 07748182097

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Rate +2

Orpington 1st - 23 Mar, 2020 - 18:46PM

Thanks, Christine. All the best, Sonia.

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Rate +1

christine McNamara - 23 Mar, 2020 - 08:46AM

Please call me we can help 01689 8544747

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Rate 0

Sonia - 23 Mar, 2020 - 08:15AM

My husband is disabled and 85 I'm 70 and cannot leave my husband alone,so I cannot get to the shops and I have no one stay with him, and I cannot get a delivery slot can anyone help please

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Rate +3

Christine McNamara - 23 Mar, 2020 - 08:13AM

Thank you this really helpful

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Rate +5

Paul - 22 Mar, 2020 - 20:16PM

A helpful pulling together of local info, cheers.

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Rate +5

Jane G - 22 Mar, 2020 - 18:33PM

Thank you for a useful summary of what's happening locally.

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Rate +1

Susan Brown - 22 Mar, 2020 - 08:17AM

Thank you, but we live above Tesco EXTRA Orpington. I have to go downstairs when it opens at 6am or within a few hours after that as Tesco Extra does not have special times set aside for us elderly, vulnerable or NHS workers. We don't have a car a car so I can not go to another store. Thank you for your reply any way.

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Rate +1

Russell - 22 Mar, 2020 - 08:01AM

How does the Tesco 9-10 slot work if people are able to buy before then and thus buy up all the stock?
Also, what happens to the non vulnerable who are already in the shop at 9:00am?

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Rate +6

Orpington 1st - 20 Mar, 2020 - 11:27AM

Hi Susan.

Tesco will now prioritise one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9 -10am to ensure more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in-store.



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Rate 0

Susan Brown - 18 Mar, 2020 - 14:33PM

I live in a flat above Tesco Orpington. I went shopping at 6.10am. And it was packed. I asked a manager about the time allotment for us pensioners and he said "not at this branch". There was not a lot of stock and people were filling up their trolleys. I found it a scary place to be.

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