Coronavirus updates for Essex on Gateway 97.8

Welcome to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page, which is regularly updated. Even though the government briefings have ended we are still bringing you the latest news on air, alongside an extra Coronavirus Update at 6pm every evening.

For the Gateway Response page, click here.

Here’s the latest Coronavirus Update with Johnny Jenkins:

Johnny is on air every weekday evening at 6pm and on Sunday mornings from 9-12 with the latest news.


There have been 308 deaths from the coronavirus at Basildon and Thurrock Hospital. There have been no new recorded deaths at the Hospital trust in 16 days. You can also find the latest NHS figures by clicking here.

You must wear a face covering if you visit Basildon Hospital for planned and outpatient care.

St Luke’s Hospice has set up a bereavement support line for those affected by coronavirus. For the full story, click here.

Johnny spoke to Amy Martin about how to keep fit at home:


Some students are now returning to schools. For the latest advice, visit the government website by clicking here.


Most shops have now re-opened, including some in the Eastgate Centre. At indoor shops and shopping centres, you must now wear a face covering.

Basildon Market units have re-opened. Please observe distancing when you visit.


You must wear a face covering if you travel on public transport:

Rail operator, C2C has resumed its standard weekday timetable. C2C has asked customers to continue to avoid public transport if possible. 

First Buses are running a reduced, Sunday service, for the foreseeable future. There are earlier and later buses scheduled for key workers travelling to/from work. For info, click here.

Local events

During the coronavirus pandemic, we have suspended our Kelly’s Diary events service. However, if you have a socially distanced event being run, please email [email protected] with the information. Danny Lawrence explains:

The Towngate Theatre, in Basildon, has postponed all shows for the foreseeable future. Shows are being rescheduled. For the full story, click here. To get the latest Towngate information, listen to the weekly update on Drivetime on Fridays at 4:40.

Many events have been cancelled:

  • The Thameside Theatre in Thurrock has closed, as Thurrock Council takes coronavirus action. For the full story, click here.
  • Basildon and Pitsea Carnival has been cancelled.
  • Basildon Pride has been cancelled.

Essex Coronavirus Action group

The Essex Coronavirus Action is a collaboration between Essex County Council, The Essex Public Health Team, and local Facebook group owners to provide three main services during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Registration is now open for any residents or businesses who want to volunteer in their local area. By using one of the links below:

Individuals –
Businesses –

For more information on the action group, click here.

Johnny spoke to Kirsty O’Callaghan from Essex County Council about the group:

Johnny also spoke to Paul Findlay, the co-admin of the Covid-19 Mutual Aid Basildon Facebook group:


Essex County Council is providing accommodation for rough sleepers in Essex. For the full story, click here.


RSPCA is still rescuing and rehoming animals in Essex. For the details, click here.


Ros spoke to Katy Cole from Childline about increased demand for NSPCC services:

How should you tell your children about the coronavirus? Tyler spoke to Dave Traxson, from the British Psychological Society. For the interview and advice, click here.

NSPCC has warned that coronavirus creates a ‘perfect storm’ for abusers. For the full story, click here.

Mental health and wellbeing

Isolation and social distancing can be a difficult time. If you are struggling, our friends at the Happy Hub have a lot of resources on their Facebook page. Just click here.

Johnny spoke to Carla Andrews, the Managing Director of Motivated Minds:

Ros discussed this with Mark Simmonds aka, Mental Health Mark:


Ros discussed the effect of coronavirus on the Muslim faith with Lady Sidra Naeem:

Be sure to check this page regularly for updates and for all the latest information, tune in to our Coronavirus Update every evening at 6pm, following the daily government press conferences.

Click here for Gateway Response!