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Coronavirus live updates, March 26 2020: Stay inside and save lives

By bristol247, Wednesday Mar 25, 2020

All public events in Bristol have been cancelled until the end of July at the earliest due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The city is entering its third day on lockdown, with all schools, non-essential shops and public facilities now closed.

Scroll down to see all the latest updates:

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

Here’s a rundown of today’s developments:

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed details of the support package available to self-employed workers
  • The nation gives thanks to NHS workers in a countrywide round of applause.
  • Avon and Somerset police are asking people to report non-emergency issues online following the closure of most enquiry offices.
  • Bristol’s buses are to operate a Sunday service from Monday, March 30.
  • The city’s waste and recycling centres in St Philip’s and Avonmouth are now closed during the coronavirus outbreak.

We The Curious is offering free parking to NHS workers in the Millennium Square car park during the coronavirus pandemic.

Donna Speed, chief executive for We The Curious said: “We’re so glad to be able to offer something to the brilliant NHS staff who are working so hard to curb the pandemic.

“It’s a small gesture, which will hopefully mean that they don’t need to come to work using public transport, and also means that it’s one less thing for them to think about at this unsteady time. It’s a small way to say a MASSIVE thank to you to them all.”

Millennium Square car park is run by We The Curious, an educational charity, with income from the car park helping to support its mission to “create a culture of curiosity”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a government support package for self-employed workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

This is roughly equivalent to what employed staff can claim, with a taxable grant available to cover 80 per cent of a person’s average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.

But Sunak has said the scheme won’t be up and running until June.

Marvin Rees says recycling centres in St Philip’s and Avonmouth are now closed.

In his latest video update to Bristol, the mayor has confirmed that household waste and recycling collections will continue as normal and urged people to help the stretched teams by sorting recycling.

Rees also confirmed there has been a positive response to the appeal for rooms for people who are homeless, with the first group moving in today.

At 8pm tonight, people across the nation will be taking part in a round of applause to show appreciation for our NHS staff.

Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire is keeping people updated on benefits and support available to the many people whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Cancer charity Penny Brohn UK has launched an urgent match funding appeal in order to continue its vital care in challenging times.

Bosses say the loss of money usually generated through events in May, that contributes around £300,000, will be “a catastrophic blow” and warn the future of the charity could be seriously threatened.

CEO Laura Kerby said: “Many cancer patients already feel very anxious and vulnerable as a result of their diagnosis; its associated symptoms and treatment can have a significant emotional impact on people and their families, with fear, isolation, loss of self-esteem and loss of independence having a huge impact on their health and wellbeing.

“This is now being intensified by the impact of coronavirus on essential healthcare systems and people with cancer now face the real possibility of delays, cancellations and changes to their cancer treatment.

“This isn’t the time to have to scale back services. Therefore, the challenge for us becomes how do we best support people with cancer to improve their quality of life when they may be feeling anxious and disconnected at home?”

To find out more and support the appeal, visit:

Air pollution levels have dropped since restrictions on movement were put in place, according to data collated by the BBC

In the two Bristol sites analysed, both St Paul’s and Temple Way have recorded significant decreases in nitrogen dioxide levels.

St Paul’s has seen a decrease from 21.5 micrograms per cubic metre in March 2019 to 16.1 during the same eight-day period in 2020.

Temple Way has seen a drop from 45.3 to 29.8 for the same periods.

FareShare South West has managed to secure match funding as it escalates efforts to get food to Bristol’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

The charity’s teams are working around the clock and they need all the support they can get.

The streets may be the quietest they’ve ever been, but Visit Bristol is still finding a way to showcase all the city has to offer (when not on lockdown).

More than 400,000 people across the UK have volunteered to help the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bristol24/7 has compiled a survival guide for parents and carers at home with children. Read more here

Young Bristol is helping people get through this period in lockdown with boredom-busting ideas:

First West of England will shift to an emergency timetable that aims to best support key workers reliant on buses to get to work.

The bus operator is moving to a Sunday service on all routes from Monday, March 30, and will also run additional routes, as well as extra early morning journeys to ensure staff, including those on health and emergency teams, can get to and from their places of work and those without a car can still collect medical prescriptions or do their essential shopping.

James Freeman, managing director of First West of England, said: “Just a few weeks ago it was almost inconceivable that these restrictions would be in place, which only underlines what a challenging, dynamic and rapidly evolving situation the UK faces, and which First is monitoring and responding to day-by-day, hour-by-hour.”

“Rest assured everything is being done to keep key workers mobile as the nation comes together to limit the spread of coronavirus.” Read more 

James Freeman says just a few weeks ago, the move was inconceivable. Photo by Ellie Pipe

Sharing some love and kindness during these challenging times:

Avon and Somerset police are asking people to report issues online as most of the force’s enquiry offices are closed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Four stations across the region remain open seven days a week, including Bridewell and Patchway, but should only be used if absolutely essential.

Assistant chief constable Stephen Cullen said the decision to close offices was not an easy one and will be under constant review.

“By temporarily reducing the number of enquiry desks open it will allow us best maximise the resources available to the force at what is critical time for policing,” he said.

Non-emergency issues should be reported via

Morph provides some inspiration for things to do while stuck at home.

Bristol’s voluntary sector is working to get supplies to some of the city’s most vulnerable people in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

An appeal has gone out for disposable cups and unused plastic bags to be donated to Stapleton Road Chapel.


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Good morning and welcome to today’s live blog as the UK continues the week under lockdown.

In the latest developments:

  • Coronavirus mass home testing to be made available across the UK “within days”, according to Public Health England.
  • Bristol mayor Marvin Rees announces that all outdoor, public events are cancelled until July. This includes the Great Bristol Run, Bristol Pride and the Bristol Harbour Festival.
  • Arnos Vale Cemetery and Bristol Cathedral have closed.
  • From tomorrow, Clifton Suspension Bridge will no longer accept cash payments to ensure all drivers pay their toll without touching coins or notes.

Main photo by Lowie Trevena

Read more: Avon and Somerset police bosses urge people to stay home and save lives


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