News / coronavirus

Coronavirus live updates as first death confirmed in Bristol

By bristol247, Monday Mar 16, 2020

Schools may still be open and business mostly as usual, but life in Bristol could change rapidly as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.

Scroll down to follow our live blog throughout the day for the latest updates.


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Bristol Hippodrome cancels this evening’s performance of We Will Rock You due to government and Department of Health guidelines.

Premiership Rugby has announced a five-week postponement of the season, in line with today’s advice from the Government. Bristol Bears’ next match was due to be against Saracens at Ashton Gate Stadium on Friday evening.

Box-E will be closing “for a while”. The team from the Wapping Wharf restaurant tweeted: “It’s a devastating decision to have to make but we have a social responsibility to our customers & staff to protect them from coronavirus & ‘social distancing’ is not possible in our tiny box. We hope to be able to welcome you back one day x”

Spike Island has canceled all events and closed their galleries until further notice, including their annual Open Studios weekend scheduled for May 7 to 10. The building and Emmeline cafe, however, remain open to the public and tenants.

Spike Island has canceled all events and closed their galleries until further notice – photo by Martin Booth

UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance says that it “may be necessary” to think about school closures but only “at the right stage” of the coronavirus outbreak.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel” as he urged people to work from home and avoid pubs, clubs and theatres.

Bristol Festival of Ideas has canceled some of their upcoming events following the escalation of Covid-19 in Europe. “The health of our audiences, speakers and staff is our priority, and we feel that this is the right decision,” organisers said in a statement.

Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival, due to take place from March 26 to 29, has been postponed.

In a statement, festival organisers said: “The restrictions on travel from several countries have already impacted some of its artists, but more importantly the festival feels it has a duty of care to its audiences and performers that makes going ahead in the current situation ill-advised.”

This week’s CAMRA Bristol Beer Festival at the Passenger Shed has been postponed until November. Tickets remain on sale and all existing ticket bookings remain valid for the same sessions on the new dates.

Bristol North West MP Darren Jones has written to online retailers including eBay, Facebook and Gumtree stressing that “online marketplaces have a responsibility to prevent their users taking advantage of vulnerable people in order to make personal profits from stockpiled goods”.

The hospitality industry could be among the hardest hit by coronavirus. Bristol Cider Shop have just postponed their upcoming cider dinner at Box-E in Wapping Wharf.

The Curzon cinema in Clevedon has announced that it’s staying open for the time being. But it has reduced the total number of tickets available from 300 to 100 “and we will be encouraging customers to spread out to increase personal space”.

The Curzon has been serving the local community for more than a century – photo: Curzon

There may not be any football, but that didn’t stop Bristol City on Sunday from playing Connect 4 via Twitter with Dutch team Willem II.

Now, Rovers have announced the start of the Gas Goal World Cup, which over the next few weeks will decide the club’s best ever goal.

Assistant chief constable Nikki Watson said Avon & Somerset Police is not anticipating a worst-case scenario but has planned for it, as a report warns up to a fifth of the force could be off work at any one time because of coronavirus.

It says demand will escalate if the coronavirus reaches epidemic levels and the police may need to enforce “emergency measures”.

Bristol Women’s Literature Festival have announced the cancellation of their 2020 weekend due to take place at the end of March. Read more here.

Facebook groups are being set up for those willing to help others in Bristol during the Covid-19 outbreak, and support those who are vulnerable and may need help for example with food deliveries.

One group founder told Bristol24/7: “No prejudice in the group will be tolerated, and anyone attempting to underplay the seriousness of the pandemic will be banned from posting.”

Bristol City Council and Public Health England are due to live stream a coronavirus guidance session at 10am.

Watch it here

GKN Engineering in Filton could be joining the global Project Open Air to to produce much-needed ventilators to help treat those with coronavirus.

Tobie the Bristol Cathedral hound is keeping spirits lifted at his workplace:

Bristol food and drink app Wriggle are due to launch ‘the Indie Kitty’ on Monday, a voucher system to increase support for independent businesses during uncertain times

Wriggle CEO, Rob Hall, said: “The next few months are going to be very challenging for everyone – not least our partner restaurants. We hope that this Indie Kitty campaign can pull people together to support great small businesses and ensure they survive this period.”


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In the most recent news:

  • a 59-year-old former policeman died in the BRI in the early hours of Saturday morning after testing positive for coronavirus
  • Bristol’s deputy mayor responsible for public health, Asher Craig, is currently on holiday in Malta. She arrived only just before the country began enforcing a 14-day self-quarantine period for all arrivals
  • the Cube in Kingsdown has become Bristol’s first major cultural venue to close, starting from Sunday for an initial two-week period
  • Friends of Redland Library have suspended all of their events until June
  • Bristol City WFC players will have a period of individual training away from the club’s SGS College base, with both men’s and women’s professional football seasons now postponed
  • offers of volunteers across Bristol are increasing to help the city’s most vulnerable groups

Main photo by James Koch

Read more: Former policeman dies in Bristol after testing positive for coronavirus

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