News / coronavirus

Coronavirus live updates, April 1 2020: lockdown continues into a new month

By bristol247, Tuesday Mar 31, 2020

Heading into April, lockdown measures continue for what could be several months.

Police bosses in Avon and Somerset have said the majority are heeding the rules, but those who are defying the advice face being fined.

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Scroll down for the latest updates:

That’s the end of our live blog for today. See you tomorrow.

In today’s latest news:

  • Wimbledon and Edinburgh festivals are the latest major events to be cancelled this summer.
  • Bristol City Council has launched a free support phone number for people to use during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Bristol Zoo has launched a fundraising appeal.
  • Mayor Marvin Rees announced the council will extend taxi licences up for renewal and defer collection of annual fees from any licensed premises.

We all need a good laugh at the moment:

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War Two because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Taxi licences, collection of annual fees for licensed premises and winter moorings are covered in today’s update from the mayor.

In a video released this afternoon, Marvin Rees said the council is extending taxi licences up for renewal after 30 March by six months at no charge.

It is also deferring collection of annual fees from any licensed premises in the next three months and the mayor confirmed noone is being forced from winter moorings in Bristol Harbour.

Great Western Railway is the latest company to offer free parking to NHS staff travelling to work by rail.

The train operator’s head of stations James Adeshiyan said: “At GWR, we would like to offer our thanks to all NHS staff working through this incredibly challenging time.

“As key workers ourselves we are doing all we can to help essential staff get to and from work, and we hope this gesture will make your journey that little bit easier.”

To check if your station car park is managed by GWR, visit

Bristol City Council has launched a coronavirus newsletter to provide information on the latest developments and support available.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery giving some top tips for hand washing.

For the first time in more than 70 years, Edinburgh’s summer festival season will not go ahead.

The news is likely to affect many Bristol artists and festival-goers planning to make the trip to the Scottish capital in August.

Shona McCarthy, the chief executive of Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society called the decision “heart-breaking”.

She said: “Our sympathies too are with the thousands of artists and participants directly affected by today’s decision – we will do everything we can to support you over the coming months.”

St Mary Redcliffe Church is seeking support to set up a popup food bank to help support those in need.

Our small Bristol24/7 team is working to deliver breaking news, features, support networks and stories from communities across the city while lockdown continues.

Here’s a roundup of some from the last two days:

Support on housing, benefits, employment, immigration and asylum issues and more is still available thanks to Bristol Law Centre.

Businesses are invited to take part in a free virtual meet up and Q&A about how to survive and thrive through difficult times.

The informal online panel discussion with Joanna Randall of Purplefish, Andy Hawkins of itech4good and Jack Thompson of Ginkgo will focus on sales and marketing strategies.

It will explore why cutting costs and pausing all marketing and external communications activity may not be the best strategy.

Business owners are invited to send any questions in advance to

Bristol Zoo has launched an urgent appeal for support to continue its work during the pandemic. Read the full story here

A dedicated free phone hotline has been launched in Bristol to help the city’s most vulnerable citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

The We Are Bristol support phone number is 0800 694 0184. Call handlers will be available initially during office hours (8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday) to provide support for people with a wide range of needs, including obtaining food supplies, other essential items and medication.

Mayor Marvin Rees: “The free hotline is in place to ensure we have a non-digital way for our most vulnerable residents and those at risk to access the help they may need, wherever we can.”

People are expressing their thanks to the many hidden heroes across Bristol doing essential work while the city is on lockdown.

Please send your artwork and messages of thanks to

A man who drove 100 miles to see his girlfriend is among the 23 people fined by Avon and Somerset Police for defying “sensible advice” during the coronavirus lockdown.

Chief constable Andy Marsh said the force is not enforcing the new rules unnecessarily but to “help the whole of society get out of this crisis as quickly as possible, with as little loss of life as possible”.

The vast majority of residents are complying but six of his officers have been bitten, spat at or coughed on by people claiming they have coronavirus. Read the full story here

PCC Sue Mountstevens puts your questions about covid-19 and policing to Chief Constable Andy Marsh. If you have any further questions for the Chief Constable please let us know. The next Facebook Live will be on Friday 3 April at 12:30pm.

Posted by Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner on Tuesday, 31 March 2020

There has been an overwhelming response to calls for volunteers to help support the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

Welcome to today’s live blog where we will be bringing you the latest news as it happens from across Bristol.

In the latest news:

  • Bristol mayor Marvin Rees has announced that from today, schools will be contacting families who qualify for free school meals about a new voucher scheme. The vouchers give families £15 per week for groceries.
  • A dedicated telephone hotline has been launched in Bristol to help the city’s most vulnerable citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Eat Drink Bristol Fashion is postponed until May 2021. Upfest, which was due to take place from May 30 t0 June 1 has also been postponed.
  • The University of Bristol has announced that more than 220 final year medical students will qualify early to help the NHS with the coronavirus pandemic

Main photo by Lowie Trevena

Read more: Ashton Gate Stadium could be used as a medical facility

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