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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for joining us

    That's the end of our live updates for today and for this week. We'll be back on Wednesday at 09:00 to bring you the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on our region.

    In the meantime, you can find further information and updates about the coronavirus crisis here.

    Thanks for joining us and if you want to get in touch with us, please email us at

  2. Frying up morale-boosting fish suppers for NHS staff

    A Blackpool chippy has shut its doors but not before frying up all its remaining stock and delivering almost 1,000 portions of fish, chips and mushy peas to NHS staff at nearby Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

    View more on twitter

    Alastair Horabin, owner of Seniors Fish and Chips,said: "NHS staff will be tested to the absolute max in the next coming weeks, so we wanted to look after the people who will be looking after us."

    He spent five hours frying fish along with a team of about 15 staff much to the delight of hospital employees.

    Alastair Horabin
  3. KJT says Olympic postponement is 'heartbreaking' but 'for the right reasons'

    Liverpool's Katarina Johnson-Thompson has reacted to the news that this year's Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The heptathlete had been one of those tipped to do well at the Games.

    View more on twitter
  4. Tranmere Rovers launch helpline for local people

    Tranmere Rovers are offering help with shopping, picking up prescriptions and providing someone to talk to if you just feel lonely at the moment.

    If you need support - or want to offer your help to Tranmere - call 0151 609 3325 or email the club at

    View more on twitter
  5. Ormskirk Market cancelled until further notice

    Ormskirk Market has been cancelled until further notice to prevent social gatherings.

    Ormskirk Market

    West Lancashire Borough Council said it will "constantly review the situation" and will make an announcement when they can resume.

    Councillor David Evans, whose responsibilities include the market, said:

    Quote Message: We have cancelled the market until further notice to prevent social gathering and protect the public's safety by helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  6. County's home library service suspended

    Lancashire County Council's home library service, which allowed books to be delivered to people in their own homes, has been suspended until further notice, the authority has said.

    A council spokeswoman said the decision to suspend the service was taken "following national advice to limit contact between people".

    She added:

    Quote Message: The authority is currently working closely with the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership to provide replacement telephone befriending support for home library service customers.
  7. 'Policing by consent' only way to enforce coronavirus rules

    The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police says "policing by consent" is the only way of enforcing the government's coronavirus rules.

    Ian Hopkins

    Ian Hopkins says he will be stepping up patrols at shops and pharmacies after new strict measures were announced, but more than 1,000 of his 11,300 staff were self-isolating due to the virus.

    He said the force could only police the restrictions if people abide by them.

  8. Blackpool cuts tram services to deter visitors

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Blackpool trams have been suspended in an effort to deter people fro visiting the resort, the town's council has said.

    Council leader Simon Blackburn said the service would be replaced by the number one bus service, which meant the authority could "concentrate on those people who need to use the buses".

    He added:

    Quote Message: We normally try to make Blackpool as appealing as possible to visitors, but we are now in a situation where we want to discourage people.

    He said parks and the town's promenade would remain open for the moment, but urged people to follow government guidelines about social distancing.

    Alongside the cutting of tram services, nearly all the council's staff are now working from home, apart from an emergency response team, and about £6m of financial reserves has already had to be used.

    The council leader said efforts were being made to help businesses and residents, with staff working constantly to draw up lists of those eligible for assistance.

    He added:

    Quote Message: We are working as fast as we can, but when something is announced on the steps of Downing Street, it doesn't mean we have all the information straight away.
    Quote Message: The impact this will have on Blackpool will be absolutely vast, but we will need a base to rebuild from.
    Quote Message: We will need a Blackpool at the end of this, so within the tight confines of what we are allowed to do, we need everyone to carry on as best they can.
  9. Mersey Ferry shuttle service to support key workers

    Mersey Ferries will be running a 20-minute commuter shuttle service between 07:20 and 10:00 and 16:00 and 19:00 every day from tomorrow to support key workers.

    All River Explorer Cruises and weekend services have been cancelled and the U-boat story is closed.

    Evening cruises and Manchester Ship Canal Cruises in April and May have also been cancelled.

    For more information, visit the Mersey Ferries website.

    View more on twitter
  10. LFC offer support to local community

    Liverpool have set up a telephone service contacting vulnerable and elderly people in North Liverpool so they don't feel isolated.

    The Reds are also running online programmes such as mindfulness tips, physical activity sessions, LFC quizzes and videos encouraging you to take up a new hobby.More details on the Liverpool FC website.

    View more on twitter
  11. About 1,000 passengers using Manchester Airport

    About 1,000 passengers are flying in and out of Manchester today due to the coronavirus pandemic, a figure way down on the airport's usual numbers of about 80,000 a day.

    Manchester airport

    An airport spokesman said only Terminal 1 is being used to enforce social distancing as it is the largest terminal.

    He added:

    Quote Message: In baggage reclaim areas, we will be using carousels that are far apart from each other, using multiple belts for larger flights. from Airport spokesman
    Airport spokesman
  12. Everton manager calls fan to wish him well

    This is the moment Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti rang a life-long Toffees fan to wish him well during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Mark has motor neurone disease and was surprised to receive a call from the Italian, who insisted the 52-year-old called him Carlo.

    View more on twitter

    Mark refused, and later Ancelotti tweeted:

    Quote Message: It was a pleasure talking to Mark. I wish him and all who are suffering due to the COVID-19 the best. Strength and courage to all. We will also win this match.

    The Blue Family outreach campaign was launched by the club last week to keep contact with fans and provide support to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

    It is also organising food parcels, arranging breakfast packs for young children, providing mobile phone credit for people living alone, and helping with gas and electricity bills.

    For more details, log onto the Everton website.

  13. Wigan Council to use CCTV to find businesses 'flouting coronavirus rules'

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Wigan Council will use CCTV to track down any non-essential businesses that fail to comply with new coronavirus restrictions, a spokesman said.

    He said:

    Quote Message: As of 14:00 on 21 March 2020, any non-essential businesses found to be open can be shut by enforcing new law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health.
    Quote Message: We recognise the financial impact closing is having on our businesses [but] we would urge businesses to comply with the new restrictions to help keep our residents safe and avoid facing legal action, including losing their license indefinitely.
    Quote Message: The council will be utilising CCTV in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police to identify businesses that are breaching the legislation.
  14. Liverpool & Widnes Vikings distribute protective equipment

    BBC Sport

    Widnes Vikings players joined staff from Liverpool FC’s Foundation to help distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to social care workers across Merseyside, boosting one charity’s ability to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

    Widnes Vikings players Jay and Ted Chapelhow

    The two clubs have come together to get items out to Community Integrated Care’s staff.

    John Hughes, a director at the charity, said the help was “vitally important”.

    “For these two organisations to come in and lend a hand as quickly as they did was fantastic,” Hughes added.

  15. Grocery co-op gives insight into 'bewildering few weeks'

    Manchester co-operative Unicorn Grocery has given an insight into how hard it has been to keep fresh fruit and vegetables in the shops during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Unicorn Grocery

    The Chorlton-cum-Hardy-based store said in a statement it had been "a bewildering few weeks" and while local suppliers had "upped production to meet demand", arrivals from Europe "have been a little more unpredictable".

    A spokeswoman said:

    Quote Message: Staffing issues are affecting the supply chain – from those harvesting and packing produce to those driving delivery trucks – and this is causing some disruptions to the price and availability of certain things.

    She also said social distancing guidance meant the grocery was "limiting customers into the shop at any one time to allow staff and customers alike to maintain the recommended two-metre distance apart".

  16. Funeral numbers restricted in Liverpool City Region

    The numbers of mourners allowed to attend funeral services in Halton and Widnes cemeteries is now restricted, Halton Borough Council says.

    Widnes crematorium and cemetery

    From today, only 12 people will be allowed to attend funeral services within Widnes Crematorium chapel.

    For burial services at all cemeteries in Halton, only six mourners will be permitted at the graveside.

    A council spokesman said the changes have been made following discussions with Public Health, funeral directors and neighbouring councils and government advice on social distancing.

    In Liverpool, the city council says funeral services at the city’s three public crematoria - Springwood, Anfield and Myrtle - will only be able to accommodate a maximum of 10 people at the ceremony.

    The city's Register Office has also stopped conducting weddings and civil ceremonies until further notice.

  17. Green bin collections stop and rubbish tips shut

    Some bin collections have stopped and rubbish tips are shut in parts of the region.

    Garden bin and recycling collections are also on hold in many areas, to give household and clinical waste priority.

    Some councils reported lower staffing levels due to self-isolation and said employees had been redeployed to support essential services.

    Authorities advised people to check council websites and if in doubt put bins out as normal.

    Note on a bin lid

    Liverpool City Council has suspended all green bin collections.

    A spokesman said: "We will prioritise resources to support household waste, recycling and clinical collections."

    Manchester City Council said food and garden bins would be collected fortnightly, instead of every week, and should be put out alongside general waste.

    Bury Council said brown bin collections were cancelled this week and next "while we prioritise emptying grey, green and blue bins instead", while Cheshire East asked everyone to wipe bin lids and handles.