News / coronavirus

Coronavirus live updates, April 2 2020: social distancing is the new norm

By bristol247, Wednesday Apr 1, 2020

In the last week, shoppers have gone from panic buying to forming orderly queues outside Bristol’s supermarkets.

Lockdown measures have been in place for a full nine days and look set to remain for the foreseeable future as people are getting used to leaving a safe, two-metre distance between each other.

Scroll down for the latest updates:

5.53pm
That’s the end of today’s live blog. See you tomorrow morning.

5.51pm
In today’s latest news:

  • First West of England is introducing new timetables from Sunday, April 5. The changes are in response to further reductions in bus use.
  • Bristol Waste teams are operating as normal, but will not be able to return for missed pickups due to a stretched workforce.
  • More than 3,000 people across the city have signed up to volunteer through the council’s official volunteering portal, candobristol.
  • £13.4bn of historic NHS debt has been written off and £300m has been made available for community pharmacies.
  • St Paul’s Carnival is trying to find a way to take the festival online and bring “the spirit of Carnival to Bristol in these challenging times”.

5.45pm
Health secretary Matt Hancock addresses the nation in the Government’s daily briefing.

£13.4bn of historic NHS debt has been written off and £300m has been made available for community pharmacies.

This landmark step will not only put the NHS in a stronger position to respond to the pandemic, but it will ensure our NHS has stronger foundations for the future too.

He also says that he is going to “level with you” on the challenges the Government’s facing and its plan to increase testing significantly. The plan of testing will go in the priority of; patients who need it, critical NHS staff and their families, test critical key workers and finally expand testing to the community.

5.32pm
St Paul’s Carnival is trying to find a way to take the festival online and bring “the spirit of Carnival to Bristol in these challenging times”.

5.11pm
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees gives the latest updates for the city.

Bristol Waste teams are operating as normal, but will not be able to return for missed pickups due to a stretched workforce. He also says that if you’re worried about council tax, there is support available.

The mayor also highlights the council’s volunteering service, candobristol. More than 3,000 people have signed up already. He says: “Please don’t think that any action is too small. It’s the small things that matter.It just lifts the spirit. Please do remember that.”

3.09pm
Officers from Avon and Somerset Police’s constable degree apprenticeship have qualified earlier than usual to help with policing.

2.11pm
The Department of Health and Socials Care gives an update on coronavirus testing.

1.13pm
Read Bristol24/7’s story about comedian Eddie Large, who has died from coronavirus.

1.09pm
A year four teacher gives a shout out to her sister working in Bristol’s hospitals.

12.45pm
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, which covers Bristol, is calling for volunteers to help with administration, cleaning and coordinating activities.

12.15pm
Bored during lockdown? Bristol24/7 looking for your artwork, videos and more that you have created during the coronavirus crisis which can be showcased online.

We’ve already shared an online choir singing Bohemian Rhapsody, a dance montage, a ukelele player signing coronavirus jingles and a watercolour artist sharing positive messages.

To share your work, email martin@bristol247.com with a bit of information about you and how you created your masterpiece.

12.01pm
Young Bristol is hosting Boredom Buster sessions across its social media channels.

11.04am
Bristol24/7’s team of writers have published lots of stories to keep you updated on everything coronavirus-related in the city, from hundreds of masks being donated to Southmead Hospital to a new website launched by Bristol creatives to bring the community together during the pandemic.

10.02am
First West of England is introducing new timetables from Sunday, April 5. The changes are in response to further reductions in bus use.

Most services will continue to operate throughout the week, with early morning and evening journeys to ensure key workers are able to get to and from work. A small number of services will be temporarily withdrawn to reflect the reduced number of people using buses.

The new timetables are expected to extend to cover the Easter period. These timetables will reflect an emergency Sunday timetable across all four days but with earlier buses to ensure important connections, particularly with hospitals, are maintained at the necessary times.

“We remain fully committed to providing a service for all those who need to make essential journeys in line with Government guidance, balancing this with our absolute duty of care to our staff, both those in the frontline and our depot teams who have been working tirelessly to keep our services running,” says James Freeman, managing director of First West of England. “We will continue to follow Government guidelines and keep our customers informed of any further developments via our website and social media channels.”

9.35am
Dr Jama, who works at Southmead Hospital, sends a message to the Somali community.

9.11am
Holiday Inn Express in the city centre are offering accommodation for NHS affected by coronavirus.

8.31am
The number of confirmed cases in Bristol now stands at 117, according to Public Health England.

6.30am
Welcome to today’s live blog where we will be bringing you the latest news as it happens from across Bristol.

In recent 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

Read more: Hundreds of masks donated to Southmead Hospital

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