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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. End of our live coverage

    Enjoy your Easter weekend and we'll be back with more live coverage on Tuesday.

    Remember to keep social distancing and stay home, stay safe.

  2. Cornwall received 'only 40% of PPE needed'

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Cornwall received just 40% of the protective equipment it asked for to help people working on the front line of tackling coronavirus

    As a result Cornwall Council is leading efforts among the health and social care sector to put pressure on the government to provide more personal protective equipment (PPE).

    PPE

    Council leader Julian German said the lack of PPE was an issue for the whole country.

    He said that the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board and MPs in Cornwall had taken up the issue with the government.

    Mr German said: “Our frontline workers are doing an outstanding job caring for residents who are sick or vulnerable.

    “Cornwall health and social care providers have highlighted the lack of PPE as their biggest concern.”

    He said Cornwall had received an allocation of PPE through the local resilience forum but this was 40% of what was required.

    He added: “We must get more. Cornwall Council is doing all that it can to make sure that this is the case.”

  3. University students 'ripped off' in rents row

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    Plymouth students have called on lettings agents to follow government advice and "be fair in their decisions about rent charges for this period".

    Rhys Hellyar

    Students in university halls have had their rents waived but some private landlords are still charging students who have left and gone home to friends or relatives.

    Campaigners have written an open letter to one agency accusing it of "absolutely refusing to offer any kind of help for their students".

    Student Rhys Hellyar, 22, a computer science student at Plymouth University, said: "A couple of weeks ago the university told students that they should go back to their family homes unless it was impossible to do so, so most of us have gone home now.

    "But now I'm paying keep at home and paying rent at university.

    "I can't go back to Plymouth now because of the lockdown.

    "Students are getting ripped off."

    The Department for Education said that a number of large rental agencies had waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts.

    It said agencies which refunded rents could access the support for businesses offered by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

    It said the government "encourages universities and private hall providers to be fair in their decisions about rent charges for this period".

    Student renters "are entitled to support if they are impacted by Covid-19", such as rent reductions or postponements and assurances that eviction proceedings cannot begin against them for three months.

  4. Be a 'stay-at-home hero' say Dartmoor rangers

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Dartmoor National Park is asking people not to visit over the Easter weekend.

    Kevin Bishop

    Visitor numbers have dropped by 90% since travel restrictions were imposed nearly three weeks ago.

    Dartmoor Rangers posted a video on Facebook showing the moor empty.

    But chief executive Kevin Bishop put out a reminder: "At this time of national emergency you can do your bit by being a ‘home hero’ – resist the temptation to travel to Dartmoor or other beauty spots, exercise locally."

    National park offices, visitor centres, car parks and toilets remain closed until further notice.

    In the meantime people are being encouraged to share photos and memories with each other through Dartmoor National Park’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels.

  5. Eight more coronavirus deaths in Devon and Cornwall

    Jenny Walrond

    Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    A further eight people have died from coronavirus in Devon and Cornwall.

    One in north Devon, one at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, two in Exeter and four at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

    It brings the total to 34 in Cornwall and 57 in Devon.

  6. RNLI urges people not to go in the sea

    Johanna Carr

    BBC News Online

    St Ives

    The RNLI is asking people not to go in the sea to help reduce the risk of the charity’s volunteer crews and other front line emergency services being exposed to Covid-19.

    The charity said it recommended people do not take their daily exercise in the sea.

    The RNLI's south west water safety lead said: "We know people who live at the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI lifeboat volunteers and other emergency services.

    "While you could be fully competent and never needed rescue, by going out on the water you could encourage others who are less proficient to take part in similar activities.

    "Since lockdown was introduced around the UK coast, our lifeboats have been called out all too often to rescue people."

    Mr Instance said if people did go for a walk or run near the coast they should follow the RNLI's safety advice, including to take care near cliffs and check weather forecasts and tides.

    He added: "‘Our lifeboat crews are still at the ready 24/7 thanks to their own courage in a time of crisis, and the generosity of our supporters."

  7. Coronavirus: Students 'treated like cash cows' in rent row

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    Students have been "abandoned" by letting agents who are telling them they must stump up the cost of rent until the end of their year.

    Matt Cates

    There has been an outcry among Plymouth University and Marjon students who are demanding their rents be waived after the summer term was cut short in the coronavirus crisis.

    Students in university halls have had their rents waived, but some private landlords are still charging students who have left and gone home to friends or relatives.

    Matt Cates, 22, a politics and international relations student at Plymouth University, has been paying £65 a week for his room in a shared house, but now he's back home with his parents in Weston-super-Mare.

    "The lettings agent said they were expecting a full rent payment and I'm paying rent at home," he said.

    "We are being treated like a cash cow, regardless of the stuation at home which is the same for many students.

    "Some are working round the clock to make ends meet, putting themselves at risk, while lettings agents cash in."

    The Department for Education said that a number of large rental agencies had waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts.

    And it said agencies who refunded rents could access the support for businesses offered by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

    It said the government "encourages universities and private hall providers to be fair in their decisions about rent charges for this period".

    Student renters "are entitled to support if they are impacted by Covid-19", such as rent reductions or postponements and assurances that eviction proceedings cannot begin against them for three months.

  8. Costa drive-through blood tests 'a genius idea'

    Drive-through

    A drive-through blood test clinic has been set up at a branch of Costa Coffee in Cornwall.

    The clinic, which minimises contact between patients and staff, allows pinprick tests to be carried out in seconds without leaving the car.

    It means patients who need regular tests, such as those on the blood thinner warfarin, can avoid having to visit the surgery.

    Dr Matthew Boulter, whose surgery set it up, said: "It's just a genius idea.

  9. Students demand rents waived in coronavirus crisis

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    More than 500 Plymouth students have called for rents to be waived after their year was cut short in the coronavirus crisis.

    Debbie Kumar-Benjamin

    Students at Plymouth University and Marjon in private rented accommodation say they are being “largely ignored” by accommodation providers.

    Students in university halls have had their rents waived, but some private landlords are still charging students who have left and gone home to friends or relatives.

    Criminology student Debbie Kumar-Benjamin, 26, said her private rental provider was getting £1,600 for accommodation until the end of the summer term, while she was back in Sheffield.

    "There should be a lot more understanding by landlords of students' circumstances," she said.

    "Some students are literally working from wage slip to wage slip to make ends meet while trying to keep safe.

    "Parents have lost jobs too and the agencies are turning a blind eye to the bigger picture.

    "It's unprecedented times and it's a shame that students are not being taken seriously."

    The Department for Education said that a number of large rental agencies had waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts.

    It said agencies who refunded rents could access the support for businesses offered by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

    It said the government "encourages universities and private hall providers to be fair in their decisions about rent charges for this period".

    Student renters "are entitled to support if they are impacted by Covid-19", such as rent reductions or postponements and assurances that eviction proceedings cannot begin against them for three months.

  10. Airbnb should have stopped bookings 'weeks ago' - Visit Cornwall

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    St Ives beach

    The head of Visit Cornwall says a decision by Airbnb UK to stop taking bookings "should have been taken weeks ago."

    Last week Malcolm Bell accused Airbnb of continuing to advertise holiday lets on its website during the coronavirus lockdown.

    The home rental firm has today announced it will restrict UK bookings to keyworkers and "essential stays".

    The company said that the measure would last until at least 18 April.

    Mr Bell said: "They don’t get any credit from me as we have been trying to get them to do this for more than two weeks."

    "This is a worldwide pandemic and they are an international company – they should have done this a long time ago", he said.

  11. Airbnb to restrict UK bookings

    BBC Technology

    Home rental firm Airbnb is to temporarily restrict UK bookings to keyworkers and “essential stays” because of the coronavirus crisis.

    The firm said that the measure would last until at least 18 April.

    Keyworkers - such as NHS and social care staff, and transport and food retail employees - can still book through a programme calledFrontline Stays.

    The decision comes after the government criticised opportunistic hosts.

  12. Tourists 'will be fined and turned around'

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    Police will be at beaches and car parks as well as monitoring incoming traffic over the Easter weekend, one of Devon and Cornwall's top officers has warned.

    Supt Adrian Leisk said people driving to the south west on holiday would be "fined and turned around".

    View more on twitter
  13. North Devon business relief 'available from Thursday'

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Applications for the scheme of Government grants to help businesses through the coronavirus outbreak in North Devon can begin to be made from Thursday.

    The grants have been made available to support the many small businesses which pay little or no business rates, with central government promising to provide £10,000 cash grants to companies to help meet their ongoing business costs.

    A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

    Concerns have been raised over the delays in opening the scheme for the thousands of eligible businesses in North Devon, as Cornwall, South Hams and Torridge District Council’s had already begun paying out.

    One business owner said: “This money is for an emergency and the emergency began weeks ago.

    "This situation is a disgrace. We need a firm date of when we will receive the money and we need it now.”

    The council said they expect the application form to be on their website by Thursday.

    They blamed the delay on having to buy in new software which had to be implemented and tested before it could be used.

  14. 'Stay at home and make a pasty day'

    Miles Davis

    BBC News Online

    Kernow King

    Cornwall's leading comedian, Kernow King, wants everyone to stay at home and make a pasty on 18 April.

    Kernow King, whose real name is Ed Rowe, wrote on his Facebook page: "Who’s realised over the last couple weeks that they can actually make a pretty decent pasty?"

    He is encouraging people to get the essential ingredients together over the next week and share pictures of their pasty-making prowess on the day.

    Kernow King rose to fame with a series of one-man shows and most recently starred in Bait, the Bafta-winning film set in Cornwall.