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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Wednesday'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 Thursday when a live page will resume at 08:00.

    Find it via your BBC News county index.

  2. Colchester Zoo 'fearful for future' despite re-opening relief

    Zoe Applegate

    BBC News

    One of the best-known zoos in the east of England said it was a "huge relief" to finally have a definite date to reopen and hoped to welcome back visitors by the middle of next week.

    Elephants at Colchester Zoo

    However, Colchester Zoo's curator Sarah Forsyth said she was still "fearful for the future" of the attraction, which has been running for 56 years across a 60-acre (24h/a) site and has 1,500 animals.

    "There's excitement about let's get this thing moving again, but we are a bit apprehensive as we need more staff back, our costs are going to go up and our income won't be as high because of the limitations on visitor numbers," she said.

    “In August, which is our busiest month, we average about 5,000 visitors a day, with numbers around a good few thousand outside of that time.

    "We’re going to have about 1,500 to 2,000 visitors a day to start with and we’ll have to see how we go, but if we have to maintain that through the summer then we are going to be in real trouble because we wouldn't be able to balance our outgoings."

    Ms Forsyth said the zoo had been relying on surplus money normally reserved for new projects to pay staff and vet bills.

    She said the overall cost of the lockdown would not be known until next year, but it has been "in the millions already because our income is normally high".

  3. Young people's mental health summit taking place in Norfolk

    Norman Lamb

    The wellbeing and mental health of young people in Norfolk during the pandemic has been the focus of a summit today

    The virtual event is being led by the former North Norfolk MP and mental health campaigner, Norman Lamb (pictured), and Norfolk Community Foundation.

    Community Foundation chief executive, Claire Cullens, said mental health is becoming an increasingly high profile issue among young people during the coronavirus outbreak.

    She said: "We are working with Norman to understand and talk to some of the front-line charities about how that feels and the sorts of things young people are experiencing."

  4. What are the papers in Suffolk reporting?

    • The University of Suffolk has pledged to hold some face-to-face lectures from September - to give students as much of an on-campus experience as possible during the Covid-19 crisis, reports the East Anglian Daily Times
    • Summer schools are being considered as a way to help children catch up with their lessons, reports the Haverhill Echo
    • A family-run farm park which turned to crowdfunding websites to be able to feed their animals is to reopen later this month, reports the Lowestoft Journal
  5. RSPCA worried people can't care for animals during Covid crisis

    The RSPCA has revealed it's been called to see almost 90 horses in Essex during the coronavirus lockdown.

    The society says it's worried the crisis has left people unable to properly care for their animals, and warned that "the worst is yet to come".

    The charity had concerns that more animals would be adandoned or abused, while and cash-strapped charities will be less able to help.

  6. What the papers are saying in Buckingamshire

    • The Bucks Free Press says travel limits on concessionary bus passes, which were lifted when lockdown restrictions started in March, are to be reinstated
  7. More than 100 Luton donors give plasma for Covid transfusions

    Plasma after donation

    A blood donor centre has taken more than 136 convalescent donations from people who have recovered from Covid-19.

    The centre in Bridge Street, Luton is one of a number across the region involved in the collection of convalescent plasma as part of a major coronavirus treatment trial.

    The antibody-rich plasma of people who have recovered can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

    If the trial is successful, use of the plasma will be rolled-out in hospitals.

    Elsewhere in the region, a further 10 donations have been made at the Long Road blood donor centre in Cambridge.

    NHS Blood and Transplant’s Prof David Roberts said more donors were needed "to try and save lives".

    To offer to donate convalescent plasma, or indeed any blood, call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk.

  8. Teenager turns bike mania in to money spinner

    Patrick Byrne

    BBC News

    A teenager with time on his hands during the Covid-19 lockdown has turned his obsession with bikes in to a "repair shop" money spinner.

    Tom Durant, 16, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, said he had "been through 40 to 50" in only 10 days.

    It all began when he agreed to fix a bike owned by one of his mother's friends and afterwards she suggested he did the same for other people.

    Tom Durant

    Tom set himself up in the garden with a shed, tools, music centre and a gazebo - then the customers rolled in.

    "Everyone’s getting on their bikes and getting out... and [it's] good for me as well."

    He felt he had to earn some money as he lost his part-time job when lockdown began although he was still at school and studying for his A levels.

    Mum Danielle said: "During lockdown having a couple of teenagers at home ... it was really hard to get them out of bed and do their school work.

    "And one day in half-term a friend of ours just asked Tom if he would look at his bike. He fixed it there and then and the idea came from that."

  9. Visitors flock to reopened nature reserve

    Minsmere Nature Reserve

    The RSPB's flagship reserve at Minsmere has reopened to visitors this week.

    Around 200 people visited the site on the Suffolk coast on Tuesday, where a new one-way system has been introduced to make sure everyone remained socially distanced.

    Toilets are open for visitors, but attractions such as the visitor centre, shop and cafe remain closed.

  10. Cobblers 'have been preparing' for play-off contest

    Northampton Town training

    Northampton Town’s chief executive James Whiting says the club always expected the League Two play-offs would take place, but it's a relief to be officially in them.

    The Cobblers will face a play-off against Cheltenham after it was voted to end the League Two season uncompleted with the final table based on a points-per-game formula.

    Town finished sixth in the table, just one point and 0.03 points-per-game ahead of Port Vale.

    The first leg of the play-off will take place at Sixfields on 18 June, with the away leg taking place four days later.

    If Keith Curle's side overcome Cheltenham, they play-off final will take place on 29 June at a venue yet to be confirmed.

    Mr Whiting said players had returned from furlough and to training at the start of June in anticipation of the decision.

    "We’ve been planning this for a while," he said.

    "There’s a significant cost to getting players back which is obviously why a number of clubs felt it wasn’t viable to finish the season."

    Final League Two table

    Colchester play Exeter in the other semi-final, with the first leg at the Community Stadium on Thursday, 18 June.

  11. School won't have to close despite positive coronavirus test

    A school has been told by Public Health England it doesn't have to shut completely after a teacher tested positive for coronavirus.

    The teacher at Heacham Junior School in west Norfolk had been in a socially distanced meeting with three other staff before falling ill. All involved are now self isolating, although the school said they were not showing any Covid-19 symptoms.

    Heacham Primary School

    A statement on the school's website said: "Public Health England does not believe we need to close the school at this stage.

    "We have, however, made the decision to keep the Albatross and Avocet bubbles closed for the remainder of this week. This is not a decision we've taken lightly, but we believe it is in the best interest of our staff and children. Our aim is to reopen these bubbles on Monday, 15 June."

  12. Southend defender says club will 'learn from relegation'

    Glenn Speller

    BBC Essex sport

    Southend defender John White has thanked fans for their support in a "really tough season" as the club was relegated to League Two yesterday, after EFL clubs agreed to end the season on a points-per-game formula.

    He said the team would "learn from this experience and use it to fuel the fire".

    View more on instagram

    Meanwhile, Colchester United head coach John McGreal said he's "gutted" fans won't be able to come along to see them in the League Two play-offs, after the same decision saw them secure their spot in the semi-final versus Exeter City.

    The two legs, as well as the final at Wembley, will be played behind closed doors.

  13. Ipswich Town 'wanted to play rest of season'

    BBC Radio Suffolk

    Ipswich Town's general manager Lee O'Neill says they would have preferred to play the final matches because many players have recovered from injuries.

    Portman Road

    Both the League One and League Two seasons have been ended early after a formal vote by clubs yesterday.

    Based on points-per-game, Ipswich finished in 11th place in League One - their lowest league position for 67 years.

    "A number of our players who have been out injured are actually available and fit again so I think to have our full squad being able to compete like we did at the start of the season when we were on our run, I think would have really helped our surge towards the end of the season," O'Neill said.

    "So from that point of view we kind of wanted to play out the rest of the season and try to make that play-off spot."