News / coronavirus

Coronavirus live updates, March 24 2020: UK goes into lockdown

By bristol247, Tuesday Mar 24, 2020

From today, people can only leave home to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, to shop for essential items, and to fulfil any medical or care needs.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said that the UK faced a “moment of national emergency” and staying at home was necessary to protect the NHS, save lives and tackle “the biggest threat this country has faced for decades”.

Scroll down for today’s latest news.

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

Here’s a rundown of today’s developments:

  • St Paul’s Carnival 2020 has been cancelled but organisers promise to keep the carnival spirit alive.
  • Police bosses and mayor Marvin Rees have urged people to heed the new lockdown measures.
  • Bristol’s Grand Iftar that usually takes place on St Mark’s Road has been cancelled.
  • Bristol UWE and the University of Bristol have both closed all of their buildings, apart from residences.
  • Bristol’s non-essential shops and facilities have all closed their doors.

Who can resist a photo of baby zebra Hope in these uncertain times?

Bristol Waste is suspending non-essential services as it works to keep core duties running with reduced team numbers.

Marvin Rees has added his voice to those urging people to heed the strict new measures imposed by the government.

In a video released this afternoon, the mayor reiterated the message to stay at home and save lives.

He also clarified that children under the age of 18 can travel between the homes of separated parents. Rees added that the council has been inundated with offers of help and encouraged those who are healthy and able to sign up to the official Can Do Bristol site to volunteer.

Bristol UWE has closed all of its buildings from 5pm today and is urging students to stay at home.

What a Bristolian lockdown looks like:

Bristol’s Grand Iftar has been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The huge street party of St Mark’s Road is held each year as during Ramadan and has become a highlight in the city’s calendar.

Organisers have said the safety of communities is of paramount importance.

Mosques across Bristol have also closed their doors in line with government advice.

The Grand Iftar on St Mark’s Road has been cancelled for 2020. Photo by Ellie Pipe

St Paul’s Carnival 2020 has been cancelled, with the organising team now talking to partner organisations to consider the options and viability of staging a two-week series of fringe events and an adapted schools’ programme later this year.

Bristol actor Joe Sims shares the hope that when this is over, we will focus on creating a better, more equitable world.

There’s nothing like music to lift the spirits in difficult times and one freelance musician is spreading this message far and wide.

Ian Towers would usually be accompanying North Bristol Wellbeing Choir during their weekly sessions on piano.

With the country in lockdown, he is recording daily videos and sharing them on his YouTube channel Connections Wellbeing Choir to spread some musical cheer across Bristol and beyond.

Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire is calling for self-employed and freelance workers to get an equivalent level of government support as employed people.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged to 80 of their salary for staff who are unable to work due to coronavirus and kept on by employers. So far, no measures have been announced for the many who are self-employed or work on a freelance basis.

A Kingsdown distillery that set about making its own hand sanitiser has raised almost £2,500 for The Grand Appeal.

Bristol24/7 first broke the story about Pschyopomp’s innovative idea early this month.

The distillery, which is asking for donations in exchange for its homemade hand sanitiser, has since appeared on national TV. It is donating 100 per cent of the money made to charity.

Avon and Somerset police bosses have issued a stark message urging people to stay at home to save lives. Read more here.

Just to clarify, these are the rules while the UK is in lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus:

The boss of Iceland supermarkets has condemned people who set fire to two of the chains vans in Southmead last night.

Taking to Twitter, Richard Walker said: “At a time when home delivery is literally a lifeline for some vulnerable people, this is sickening.”

The University of Bristol has confirmed it is closing all buildings, except residences, in line with the latest government advice.

M Shed is preparing to collect insights and accounts from this unprecedented public health crisis once it re-opens.

Bristol Cathedral helping to explain social distancing for anyone still not getting the message.

“Be a mermaid not a monkey”.

ACH has issued reassurance it is still here for tenants while Bristol is on lockdown.

The social enterprise that works with refugees and asylum seekers will be offering support over the phone and delivering essentials for those in need.

It has also put together some tips for how to cope while cooped up.

Avon and Somerset’s chief constable has responded to the prime minister’s message to the nation, saying the force will be working to see how best to enforce the new lockdown measures.

“The message given by the Prime Minister tonight is clear and I know communities served by our force will do what is right to save lives,” said chief constable Andy Marsh.

“We’ll be working with our national policing colleagues to see how best these new measures can be enforced.”

He also issued reassurance that the police are still working to ensure communities are safe.


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Using things found in your home, Jenny Urquhart shows you how to make a bright, colourful painting of Bristol in easy to follow steps:

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees has put out an appeal for hotels, bed and breakfasts, Airbnbs and student housing providers to make rooms available to help people who are homeless or sleeping rough find a safe place to shelter. Read more here.

Already running out of ideas as day two of home-schooling gets underway? Circomedia could have the answer, as their Youth Circus classes go online:

The Tobacco Factory is launching a ‘drive-through’ service for food and groceries in their car park.

Executive head chef Charles Mooyaart said: “As a community hub, we want to do whatever we can to support our neighbourhood and surrounding area to keep everyone healthy and looked after during this difficult time.”

The mural of Greta Thunberg on the side of the Tobacco Factory was painted by Jody – photo by Martin Booth

Good morning and welcome to today’s live blog as the UK starts its first day under lockdown.

In the latest developments:

  • People should minimise the amount of time spent out of their homes and should keep two metres (6ft) away from people they do not live with.
  • All social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, have been stopped by the government – but funerals attended by immediate family members are allowed.
  • Before Boris Johnson’s address to the nation from Downing Street, Bristol mayor Marvin Rees had announced the closure of all park facilities across the city.
  • Businesses that will not need to close include supermarkets, petrol stations, post officers and banks.
  • Hotels, hostels, campsites and caravan parks must also close unless key workers need to stay there, or if other people staying there cannot return to their primary residence.
  • Police will have powers to enforce the new rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Main photo by Martin Booth

Read more: Appeal for beds to allow Bristol’s homeless to self-isolate

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