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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Darlington Hippodrome anticipated longer lockdown

    Darlington Hippodrome says it had prepared for the delay to lockdown restrictions easing announced by the prime minster on Monday.

    Boris Johnson said remaining coronavirus restrictions must remain in place until 19 July, because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant, which means theatres won't be able to return to full capacity next week, as had been hoped.

    Socially distanced performances will be able to continue, with the audience seated two metres apart.

    Many theatres have said this isn't viable for them, but the Hippodrome had already planned for socially distanced seating for its live shows later this month.

    Programme director Heather Tarran-Jones said: "What we're trying to do is keep people as safe as possible, so the two-metre-plus social distancing at all times, [means] some seats are available and others are closed off, and people will have to wear a face covering as you move around the theatre and in the auditorium."

    It's hoped restrictions will be lifted by 19 July so performances will be able to go ahead at full capacity in September.

    Darlington Hippodrome
  2. Tractor's haul of North Tyneside beach litter

    People spending time on North Tyneside's beaches are being reminded to take their rubbish off the sand.

    The local authority has been using a tractor to collect the litter left behind on the beach and the dunes.

    North Tyneside Council said it had added more bins and increased collections along the seafront, to try and prevent rubbish from ending up in the sea.

    It said environmental protection officers who patrol the beaches can issue fixed penalty notices to anyone caught leaving litter behind.

    North Tyneside council's beach tractor
  3. Covid: Wedding cake maker loses £37,000 due to pandemic

    Gabriella Grace, who makes wedding cakes, says a further delay to lockdown easing is heartbreaking for her business.

    Based in Redcar, Ms Grace was on track to make 53 wedding cakes last year but only made three.

    She had just given up a part-time job to start her business when the first lockdown happened and says she has lost about £37,000 of income since then because of the pandemic.

    If the lifting of restrictions is pushed back, the UK Weddings Taskforce - an industry group - estimates that 50,000 weddings planned in the four weeks from 21 June could be cancelled, with the industry losing £325m for every week of delay.

    With couples likely having to re-arrange their wedding dates, Ms Grace said she was now struggling to fit in future bookings: "I don't have the luxury of postponing and postponing again because there's only one of me, and I may have a booking for the new date," she said.

    "One of my couples has postponed four times, so in normal times that could've been four lots of income but it's only one."

    Gabriella Grace and one of her wedding cakes
  4. Covid: North East wedding photographer faces more uncertainty

    With lockdown easing likely to be delayed for a further four weeks, a North East wedding photographer says it is going to have a huge effect on his business.

    Currently the number of guests allowed at weddings is limited to 30.

    Sean Elliott says it will mean couples are likely to delay their plans again.

    He said: "It's going to have a huge effect on all my bookings, certainly for the next month, and will make everyone feel uneasy for the rest of the summer."

    Close up of bride and groom's hands during wedding ceremony

    If the lifting of restrictions is pushed back, the UK Weddings Taskforce - an industry group - estimates that 50,000 weddings planned in the four weeks from 21 June could be cancelled, with the industry losing £325m for every week of delay.

    Mr Elliott said it was stressful for couples having to re-schedule: "I've got a couple next week who are going to Gretna Green just to get married, I can understand why people are reaching the point where they're thinking, 'why should we put ourselves through the stress of planning a big wedding?'"

  5. Covid: Newcastle nightclub boss says he will do 'whatever we have to'

    A Newcastle nightclub manager says he will do "whatever we have to, to make it safe to reopen", as it looks like lockdown restrictions are set to stay in place a while longer for some sections of the hospitality industry.

    Government sources have told the BBC most coronavirus rules will remain in place in England for another four weeks, a delay to the planned 21 June unlocking.

    It would likely mean nightclubs would remain closed.

    Tom Caulker, who runs World Headquarters nightclub, said: "The last thing we want to do is reopen and anyone gets sick from coming to the club, that's not what we want.

    "We want a proper recovery, not a false dawn where we have to close again - we want to be on the other side of this thing, it's been a long, hard road."

    Generic image of nightclub interior