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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Our live updates have finished here for the day but this feed will continue to be updated with any breaking news and sport stories as well as travel updates.

    You can also stay up to date on BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Tees and Look North.

    If you want to get in touch with any news or send us photos you can tweet us, contact us via our Facebook page or email us.

    We'll be back with more live updates from 08:00 on Monday.

  2. Weather: Cloudy with light rain

    BBC Weather

    Tonight will stay mainly cloudy with a few patches of light rain and drizzle. Winds will be moderate north-easterly.

    You can check the forecast where you are here

    Weather graphic
  3. Ex-NUFC footballer arrested for breaking curfew

    Former Premier League footballer Nolberto Solano has been arrested in his native Peru for breaking a coronavirus curfew to attend a party.

    Peru President Martin Vizcarra has banned people from leaving their houses in many cities from 20:00 until 05:00.

    More than 18,000 people have been arrested for ignoring social distancing measures in the South American country.

    Mr Solano, 45, who played more than 300 games for Newcastle United, said he was just chatting to friends at a neighbour's house and it was not a party. He was later released.

    Peru's Nolberto Solano (left) vies for the ball with Paraguay"s Claudio Morel in 2008
  4. Dozens of retired firefighters return to work during virus outbreak

    BBC Newcastle

    Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue says around 70 retired firefighters have agreed to return to work for the service to help during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Some will train to return to front line duties while others who have been retired for more than two years will be trained for other work behind the scenes.

    It comes as the government calls on the fire service to assist ambulance crews, while also helping with looking after some vulnerable people in the community.

    Tyne and Wear Fire Service chief operating officer Chris Lowther said "We've had a great response from existing and retired staff and everyone will be given training to do the job outside of the normal fire service".

  5. East Cleveland women stranded in Bali

    BBC Look North

    North East and Cumbria

    Two women from East Cleveland are stuck in Bali, as the coronavirus pandemic leads to flights across the world being cancelled.

    Alexandra Keogh and Bethany Park were on the adventure of a lifetime, travelling in Indonesia.

    They have told the BBC although there are a few flight options to get home, they are expensive.

    Bethany Park and Alexandra Keogh

    The government said it was working to get UK citizens who are stranded home safely.

  6. NHS staff at Freeman Hospital feeling the love

    The show of support for NHS workers across the North East and around the country has really hit its mark.

    Medical staff are clearly appreciating the thanks - and are replying with thanks of their own.

    This is the message from critical care ward 37 at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

    NHS staff holding up letters spelling out "thank you for your support"
  7. Fourth patient dies of coronavirus in Northumberland

    A fourth patient in Northumberland has died of the coronavirus.

    A spokeswoman for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said that the patient was 65 and had underlying health conditions.

    It comes shortly after the second and third deaths at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington on Wednesday 25 March.

    All three of the previous deaths were elderly patients with underlying health conditions.

    Northumberland Emergency Care hospital
  8. North Tyneside council to close coastal car parks

    North Tyneside council has announced it's closing a number of coastal car parks in an attempt to get people to stay home.

    It doesn't want to see a repeat of last weekend when beaches were busier than usual.

    The move follows government advice on social distancing.

    View more on twitter
  9. 'Safer in Korea' than in UK

    Alison Freeman

    BBC Look North

    A woman from Gateshead who teaches English in South Korea says she feels safer there during the pandemic, as it has had fewer deaths than the UK.

    Kate Maclean, who's 28, said: "I think it's safer here for me but I'm now worried about my family back home.

    "Spring is starting here and the cherry blossom season is starting and there's a lot more people deciding that they don't need to self quarantine anymore so I'm worried that the numbers will rise again."

    Kate Maclean

    There was a lot of testing for the virus being carried out in Seoul and the authorities were sending emergency notifications to individuals every time they find a new case in their area, she said.

    "So we can cross [reference] where we've been and work out have we been in that area, have we been to that restaurant."

  10. Former Sunderland councillor dies from Covid-19

    Former Sunderland councillor and union activist Margaret Beck has died after contracting coronavirus.

    Seaburn Dene Primary School in Sunderland said on Twitter that it's "long-standing school governor and friend to our school" had died in Sunderland Royal Hospital.

    "She was an active and passionate advocate," the school said.

    View more on twitter
  11. Park-and-ride services halted as demand drops

    Park-and-ride services in Durham are being stopped amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    With more people working at home following government announcements last week, county council-run bus services at Sniperley, Belmont and Howlands have seen a significant fall in use.

    A reduced service has been in place at Belmont and Sniperley since Wednesday, while Howlands has operated solely as a car park.

    The council has also waived parking charges at all its car parks, on and off-street, meaning key workers have access to free parking within the city centre - a move that has further reduced demand for park-and-ride facilities, it said.

    Bus services at Belmont and Sniperley were suspended this morning and all three car parks will close at 19:00 today.

    Durham Bus Station will also close on Monday, with all buses using street stops to avoid people having to wait in an enclosed space. Other bus stations are currently being reviewed, the authority says.

  12. Weather: Sunny turning cloudy

    BBC Weather

    Turning mainly cloudy but mostly dry this afternoon. However, a few spots of rain are still possible, wintry on high ground.

    Tonight is looking cloudy again with a few patches of light rain and drizzle. Winds moderate north-easterly.

    You can find the latest forecast here

    Weather grid
  13. Emotional thank you for #clapfortheNHS goes viral

    "Wow just wow ......"

    That was the response from an A&E charge nurse to the astonishing, country-wide applause for NHS staff last night.

    Craig Leathard works at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

    In a tearful Facebook post he said: "I’ve stood on many ambulance bays and shed sad tears over the years, tonight that was different I cannot tell you just how special connected and proud that made us feel to ‘Our’ communities."

    "Human kindness, that’s how we win," he said.

    The post has been shared and viewed tens of thousands of times.

    View more on facebook
  14. NHS loaned lIfe-saving kit by amateur football clubs

    A dozen defibrillators have been collected from local clubs by Sunderland's Football Hub network and will be lent to the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust after an appeal to help the NHS in the fight against Covd-19.

    Sunderland City Council's executive director of neighbourhood services Fiona Brown, said: "Doors have closed for now on our football hubs and with the suspension of all amateur games, it was plain to see that this life-saving equipment could be put to other possible uses.

    "It is only right and correct that these essential medical kits are now with our colleagues at the NHS who may yet need them."


    Some clubs had bought their own defibrillators, which deliver a high-energy electric shock to the heart when a person is in a cardiac arrest, as part of their first aid equipment.

  15. Government urged to bail out the Tyne and Wear Metro

    Daniel Holland

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Passenger numbers have dropped significantly on the Tyne and Wear Metro and the North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll has called for the government to cover the train network’s huge losses so normal service can resume once the coronavirus crisis is over.

    Operators Nexus said fare revenue was down by around 50% even before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new lockdown measures on Monday night.

    Mr Driscoll said the Metro was a "key lifeline for the people of Tyne & Wear".

    “The government is covering the losses of the private train operating companies," he said.

    "I spoke directly to Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, and asked the government do the same for the Metro."

    Mr Driscoll said he had also called for support for local bus services.

    Jamie Driscoll
  16. Rolls-Royce cuts non-essential activity

    Rolls-Royce in Washington is reducing all but essential activity for a week, but all staff will continue to be paid.

    A statement said: "We have been actively implementing government guidelines throughout our global facilities, particularly those relating to social distancing, including in the UK where our manufacturing sites have to date remained fully operational.

    " We have now decided to significantly reduce all but essential activity within our UK Civil Aerospace facilities for one week from midnight on 27 March.

    "Our colleagues will continue to be paid. This move will enable us to confirm the effectiveness of the measures taken to date and enhance our processes in order to sustain modified operations and activities over a longer period.

    "We will continue to supply and support the engines that power military aircraft, naval vessels and other vehicles, many of which are being called upon to assist the relief effort, while observing all Government health and safety guidance."

  17. Stranded by coronavirus in Bali

    Lee Johnson

    BBC Tees

    The Coronavirus pandemic has led to flights across the globe being cancelled, leaving many tourists from our part of the world stranded in countries including New Zealand, Brazil and Indonesia.

    Alexandra Keogh and Bethany Park from East Cleveland are stuck 8,000 miles away in Bali.

    Bethany said it was "a bit scary, really".

    "I struggle with anxiety at home anyway so I've been waking up every morning, having a bit of a cry and then sort of pulling myself round because I can't do anything," she said.

    Bethany Park and Alexandra Keogh

    Alexandra said there were some flight options but they were expensive and she did not have enough money to pay for both her and her boyfriend's flights home.

    "We're literally stuck until we get our Emirates flights refunded," she said.

    The government said it was working to get UK citizens who are stranded home safely.

  18. Coronavirus: Mike Ashley 'deeply apologetic' for blunders

    Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has said he is "deeply apologetic" for a series of blunders in the way his chain has reacted to the coronavirus lockdown.

    The retailer lobbied the government to keep his shops open, arguing they were an "essential service", but backed down after a backlash from staff and media.

    Mr Ashley, who owns Newcastle United, admitted his request was "ill judged and poorly timed" and said he would "learn from his mistakes".

    The retail tycoon also offered to lend the NHS his delivery trucks.

    In an open letter, Mr Ashley also admitted the firm's communications to staff and the public were "poor".

    "I am deeply apologetic about the misunderstandings of the last few days. We will learn from this and will try not to make the same mistakes in the future," he said.

    Mike Ashley
  19. Routine patient transport service suspended during virus crisis

    Routine ambulance transport has been cancelled to help ease demand during the coronavirus crisis.

    The North East Ambulance Service said the decision would allow it to support hospitals to discharge more patients well enough to return home and free-up the maximum possible inpatient and critical care capacity in the region.

    A limited transport service will continue for patients needing dialysis; chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other cancer treatment; and when required for non-urgent assessment as directed by a clinician.


    Barry Dews, Strategic Head of Operations at NEAS, said: “This is not a decision taken lightly and we know some patients will be worried about whether they should still attend their hospital appointment.

    “We regularly carry out around 2,800 patient journeys a day and we have already seen this drop to 1,500 patient journeys a day as hospitals start cancelling appointments and some patients are either self-isolating or following government advice to socially distance themselves.

    “We are working very closely with hospitals and our NHS commissioners to ensure that all patients are notified of this change and given advice on what they should do next.”

    Patients who have any concerns their transport should ring NEAS patient transport on 0300 111 0247.

    For those patients showing symptoms of COVID-19, vehicles will only transport one patient at a time.

    Crews in direct contact will also be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), although the designated driver will not be required to wear PPE whilst driving.

  20. Virus scammers offering to 'spray driveways'

    Police on Teesside have warned against scammers taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis after a group of men offered to spray driveways for cash.

    Cleveland Police said three men wearing what appeared to be protective masks had approached properties on Redcar Road, Mandale Road and Victoria Road in Stockton on Wednesday.

    They were described as being in their late 20s to early 30s. One was wearing a white vest and another was wearing a black hoody.

    A force spokesman warned people, especially those who are older or vulnerable, to be vigilant and avoid becoming victim to fraudulent scams.