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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Monday's updates as they happened

    Thanks for joining us to find out how the East of England is reacting to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

    Live updates have now finished for the day

    Join us again on Tuesday when a live page will resume at 08:00.

    Find it via your BBC News county index.

  2. Boy sells pictures to raise money for hospital

    Rob England

    BBC News

    Many of us have been getting creative in lockdown, perhaps taking up a new hobby, or picking up an old one.

    Six-year-old Oakley has made one of his pastimes, drawing animal pictures, into a great charity fundraiser by selling pictures to raise money for local hospitals.

    In total he raised £621 for Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.

    Essex Police thanked Oakley for his hard work on social media.

    View more on facebook
  3. Video content

    Video caption: Stansted Airport arrivals cast doubt on UK quarantine rules

    People must self-isolate for 14 days, but not everyone is convinced it will be effective.

  4. 'Play box' queues must observe virus social distancing

    Starting on Tuesday residents can pick up a "takeaway play box" from one of the Stevenage Borough Council's play centres.

    Because it is expected to be a busy time residents are requested to observe social distancing and other pandemic guidelines when queuing.

    Boxes can be picked up from these play centres on the given days:

    • Tuesday at St Nicholas
    • Wednesday at Bandley Hill
    • Thursday at Pin Green
    View more on facebook
  5. Police 'birthday surprise' for boy, 6

    Rob England

    BBC News

    One thing we've seen all the way through lockdown is how emergency services have responded to make the birthdays of young people special, at a time where they can't have a party with their friends.

    Six-year old Alex from Sawtry, Cambridgeshire, was given a blue light greeting yesterday and a tour of a police car.

    His mum said the visit made him "very happy" and Alex went to bed talking about it.

    View more on facebook
  6. What the papers are saying in Norfolk

    • The Eastern Daily Press is reporting that the landlord of a Norwich pub says it may not be financially viable to reopen until social distancing guidelines are relaxed
    • The Lynn News highlights dentistry which continues to be disrupted by the coronavirus with health officials warning of a "skeleton service" as some practices reopen for emergency procedures
    • The Great Yarmouth Mercury reports that the James Paget Hospital has teamed up with an "international bid" to assess the impact on behaviour and wellbeing of the Covid-19 lockdown
  7. Lockdown baby girl delivered by paramedic and firefighter

    Rob England

    BBC News

    Earlier we looked at how fire crews have been taking on extra duties during the coronavirus lockdown - one of those extra jobs has been driving ambulances.

    As a result a baby girl was brought into the world over the weekend with help from an unlikely combination of a paramedic and a firefighter.

    On-call fire fighter Scott Draper has been driving ambulances around Billericay in Essex for more than seven weeks.

    Scott and Zowie

    He said: "To deliver a baby was such an incredible experience and I’m glad we were able to welcome Zowie to the world safely.

    "It’s been amazing to work with the ambulance service and it's a nice change from being a firefighter to being an ambulance driver.

    "We’ve been able to get stuck in and help more than we thought we would and the knowledge we’ve learnt has been amazing and will help in our firefighter role."

  8. Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Saffron Walden dentist shows new appointment routine

    Join us on a walk through a dental surgery to show what you might face at your next appointment.

  9. Bedford multi-storey car parks to reopen

    Two multi-storey car parks in Bedford are due to reopen next week in an attempt to encourage people back into the town centre.

    Bedford town centre
    Image caption: Pre-lockdown Bedford, with the Harpur Centre on the right

    River Street and the Harpur Centre car parks will open on 15 June, the same day government guidance allowing "non-essential" shops to open comes into effect.

    The Harpur Centre has remained open to provide essentials to the community throughout the crisis and has already began to implement new measures to try to ensure a safe environment for visitors and employees.

    Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "We have been working throughout the lockdown period to ensure that people feel safe and welcome in our town centre."

    Harpur Centre manager, Samantha Laycock, said: "We’re making every effort to protect our colleagues and customers, and while safety is paramount, we look forward to welcoming our visitors and non-essential retailers back as they gradually reopen to serve our community."

  10. MP calls for Whipsnade Zoo reopening

    Whipsnade Zoo

    An MP has urged the government to allow zoos to reopen.

    Conservative member for Hitchin and Harpenden, Bim Afolami, said he has received several emails from constituents asking him to put forward the case for zoos, including Whipsnade Zoo, near Dunstable, to be allowed to open again.

    In a Facebook post, Mr Afolami said: "As father to three curious young children, visits to the local ZSL Whipsnade are a coveted treat

    "I know that social distancing measures and staggered visitor attendance can be easily maintained there."

    He added the zoo needs to reopen to bring in money "to support the welfare of the zoos' animals" and for "globally significant research and conservation work".

  11. Essex town centre redesigns under way

    Colchester town centre

    Work redesigning Essex's town centres starts today - to get them ready for shops reopening next week.

    Officials hope the changes will give people room to practice social distancing

    In Chelmsford, pavements will be widened by making roads narrower, while an area around the station will be made one-way.

    In Colchester, people will be asked to keep left and hand sanitiser will be available next to parking machines.

    Deputy leader of Essex County Council, Conservative Kevin Bentley, said it's a good opportunity to "change your habit".

    "I will now not take my car to County Hall," he said. "I will be using cycling and trains."

  12. Bike share firm's promotion offers free cycling minutes

    Patrick Byrne

    BBC News

    To encourage cycling, a bike share scheme operator in Norwich is offering 200 free cycling minutes to the first 1,000 residents to download its app.

    Norfolk County Council has set up a share scheme with operator Beryl to encourage more cycling, which has increased in popularity since the Covid-19 lockdown began.

    To access the local #BetterByBike promotion residents need to download the free Beryl App from relevant smart phone stores and follow the messages.

    Cycles for hire

    Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: "With government restrictions now easing and more bike bay locations on the way, we hope more people will be able to get out and give them a try, benefiting both the environment and the economy."

    Beryl chief executive Philip Ellis said: "68% of car journeys in the UK are under five miles. A quarter are under one mile.

    "Cycling isn’t the option for all trips - but by making the switch for short journeys, people can free up valuable space on public transport, reduce congestion on our roads and make streets safer."

  13. Art Circle to put on virtual exhibition

    The Beauty That Passers-by Don't See by Malcolm Jarvis
    Image caption: The Beauty That Passers-by Don't See by Malcolm Jarvis

    Norfolk and Norwich Art Circle is putting on a virtual exhibition to showcase new work which they are unable to put on public display during the coronavirus lockdown.

    The group, which has more than 200 members, is marking its 135th year, having been established in 1885.

    Submissions can be made on the organisation’s new website ahead of the online exhibition which will take place between 1-30 September 2020.

  14. Stately home to reopen with takeaway food service

    Wrest Park is to reopen on Saturday.

    Tickets to visit the stately home, in Silsoe, Bedfordshire, will be available on a pre-booked basis, with social distancing rules in place throughout.

    The Archer Pavilion and Sculpture Gallery will remain closed, English Heritage said.

    The cafe will be open for a takeaway service, while toilets will also be available and a one way system will be in place in the shop.

    Wrest Park
  15. 'You are a star!'

    A woman who made 220 bags for health workers to wash their scrubs in without contaminating their other clothes has been praised.

    On social media, Broadland Council thanked Tracey Cooper, from Thorpe St Andrew, Norfolk, for making the 'scrub bags' and delivering them to staff.

    View more on facebook

    Do you know someone going above and beyond in your area? Email us and share what they're up to.

  16. Litter blights waterside beauty spot

    One of the downsides of the steady easing of the coronavirus lockdown measures has been the increase of litter in parks and beauty spots as people are allowed to travel again.

    Litter at Lound Lakes
    Litter at Lound Lakes

    Essex and Suffolk Water has posted pictures on its Facebook page showing the effect on its sites.

    The post said: "We were devastated to find the state some people have left one of our sites."

    The pictures were taken at the Lound Lakes nature reserve in between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

    "Makes my blood boil" is a typical reply to the post.

    "Perhaps it needs to close again until people find some manners," is another.

    The site is managed by Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

    Damage to Lound Lakes nature reserve
    Damage to Lound Lakes nature reserve
  17. Birthday surprise for 90-year-old shopper

    Eileen Hamilton

    A regular customer has been given a surprise 90th birthday party by Asda store workers.

    Former nurse Eileen Hamilton spent her birthday at home due to the coronavirus lockdown.

    When staff at the supermarket in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire found out they decorated the outside of her bungalow with balloons, brought her cake and read out birthday messages from her family before singing happy birthday.

    Mrs Hamilton said the surprise had been "like a fairytale".

    "The thoughtfulness and kindness of people is out of this world," she said.

    Asda staff held a socially distanced celebration

    Store manager Matt Morris said he had found out about the birthday through their delivery drivers.

    He said Mrs Hamilton's family, based in the north of England and New Zealand, "couldn't get to see her" so "we arranged that we would go round and celebrate with her".

    "Eileen was taken back a bit by it all and quite emotional," he added.

    "She was very thankful and it really made her day. It was amazing to see everyone pull together."

    Mrs Hamilton's daughter Christine Maskill, who lives in York, called the gesture "wonderful".

    "It was a lovely birthday that will not be forgotten. People are still talking about it."

  18. Reopened dental surgeries will see less patients

    Dental practices across the region are reopening for the first time since all routine dental care was suspended on 25 March.


    NHS England said dental surgeries could resume as normal as long as they put appropriate safety measures in place.

    Dentist Alisdair McKendrick said people attending Anterior Dental Care in Kettering will have their temperatures taken as they enter and there will be no waiting room system.

    He said dentists will be dressed in visors, masks and goggles.

    "It's not going to be the same, but hopefully these things will relax as things flatten out," he added.

    Elsewhere, Morne Williams, a dentist at We-Care Dental in Peterborough, said allowing 15 minutes between patients to clean dental rooms would mean the surgery would be seeing four to eight patients a day, rather than 15 to 20.