COVID-19: Fresh weather warnings after snow forces coronavirus testing centres to close

Heavy rain is forecast for parts of England and Wales next week following a weekend when COVID testing centres were closed by snow and cars skidded off roads in freezing temperatures.

Around 30-60mm of rain could fall across parts of England and Wales between Monday and Wednesday.

The Met Office issued yellow weather warnings for rain covering Wales and northwest England on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

It said that heavy rainfall “combined with some snowmelt across the hills” could lead to flooding of roads and properties.

Delays or cancellations to buses and trains are possible, as well as power cuts, it added.

The Environment Agency had 23 flood warnings in place across England on Saturday evening, stretching from the South East to the North East, meaning “immediate action” is required.

A further 99 flood alerts have also been issued.

All three rapid COVID-19 testing centres in Luton were temporarily closed because of snow in the area, the council said, while other parts of England also woke up to snowfall.

Confirming the decision on Twitter, the council said it would be closing the centres “for the safety of the public and our staff”.

But social media users complained of a lack of snow, with some branding the council’s move “utterly embarrassing”.

The council later confirmed it would be reopening all the centres by 2pm on Saturday, apologising for the “inconvenience caused”.

In Norfolk, police urged motorists to take extra care on the roads and travel “only if absolutely necessary” because of snow and ice across the county.

Norfolk Constabulary detailed a number of incidents, including a man being taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after coming off his moped, and a people carrier skidding off a road and into a tree.

The force said it was considering fining drivers who crashed if they were found to be travelling for non-essential purposes amid the coronavirus lockdown.

In its forecast for Sunday, the Met Office said southern and eastern parts would be dry with sunny spells.

Showers are expected to affect the West and Northwest, with some “more persistent rain later for west and central Scotland”.

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