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Live Reporting

Rachel Flint and Richard Porter

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight from us

    Thank you for joining us for our live updates today on the latest news from Wales during the coronavirus pandemic.

    On Wednesday we found out:

    Join us again here for more updates on Thursday.

  2. Takeaways given two-metre spacing guidance

    Police say they have given guidance to takeaways in Cardiff about social-distancing following concerns.

    View more on twitter
  3. 'Warm welcome' for £150k to support books sector

    Books

    Emergency funding worth £150,000 to help the Welsh books sector to weather the coronavirus crisis has been "warmly" welcomed by a publishing industry body.

    The money was announced by the Welsh Government as part of an £18m package of support for the culture, arts and sport sector.

    The emergency package will include support for independent bricks-and-mortar bookshops in Wales to help them respond to cash flow pressures and minimise the impact of coronavirus.

    Helgard Krause, chief executive of the Books Council of Wales, said the body "warmly welcomed" the emergency funding in what were "extremely testing times".

  4. Call for help making headbands for 'sore' NHS staff

    A Cardiff community centre has launched an appeal for people to help to make headbands for NHS staff to wear under protective face masks.

    Maes-y-Coed Community Centre, close to the University Hospital of Wales, said health workers were getting "sore and cracked ears" from wearing the masks.

    The centre wants people who can sew to help create washable headbands with buttons at the ears for them.

    "These would make a huge difference," they said on Twitter, asking for anyone feeling "frustrated and helpless" to pitch in.

    View more on twitter
  5. Keeping a journal 'helps with anxiety'

    A 21-year-old from Cardiff has shared ways of dealing with anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Naomi, a final-year psychology student from Cardiff, had her exams cancelled and her lectures moved online, and said she used to volunteer and have a strict routine to help cope with the condition.

    She spoke to BBC Stories after a survey found the pandemic was having a huge impact on young people with existing mental health conditions.

    Naomi said keeping a journal of how she was feeling and what she was grateful for helped.

    "Those questions point me to think about what I have done during the day and what's been positive, and also write about the things that I'm worrying about," she said.

    Naomi's self help journal
    Image caption: Naomi's self help journal
  6. 'Firms flouting social-distancing won't get cash'

    Workers sat side-by-side in an office

    Companies not observing correct social-distancing for employees will not be eligible for Welsh Government support, the economy minister has said.

    Ken Skates said withholding financial help was an “important tool to make sure businesses behave properly".

    Plaid Cymru AM Helen Mary Jones said she had been contacted by people who’d been “pressed to work when they should be self-isolating” and were working in circumstances where there was “no proper social-distancing”.

    She said these “bad businesses” were “a minority”, but called on the Welsh Government to “consider enforcement” of the coronavirus guidelines.

    Speaking at a Senedd plenary session, Mr Skates said he was still discussing enforcement with the UK government and Welsh councils.

    However he said “any business failing to adhere to social-distancing will be exempt from getting our support or that support would be clawed back”.

    The minister also told AMs he had witnessed shop workers facing abuse from customers, which he described as “utterly, utterly reprehensible".

  7. Praise for cleaners and caretakers

    Cleaning staff and caretakers in Bridgend county borough have been praised for their early starts and extra hours to get emergency childcare hubs ready to open every day during the coronavirus crisis.

    Cleaning supervisor Michal Sobocinski said cleaning crews were starting work at 0400 and using 15 times as much bleach as usual to clean schools daily.

    "It is a stressful time, we’re constantly aware of the threat of the virus and its implications," he said.

    Council leader Huw David said: “We are so thankful for the hard work and commitment of our cleaners and caretakers, they are doing an absolutely incredible job in these uncertain times."

    Mr Sobocinski's nine-year-old daughter has shown her support by drawing a picture of him fighting the virus.

    Drawing of a man fighting coronavirus
  8. Universal Credit claims soar by nearly a million

    Nearly a million people in the UK have applied for universal credit benefits in the past fortnight as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened.

    The Department for Work and Pensions said 950,000 successful applications for the payment were made between 16 March, when people were advised to work from home, and the end of the month.

    That is ten times the number officials would normally expect in a two-week period.

    Officials said they were working "flat out" to help people get support.

    A Jobcentre
  9. Quarter of prison staff 'absent due to virus'

    The latest figures suggest up to one in four prison staff in England and Wales are absent due to Covid-19 issues.

    That's according to BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw, who has tweeted this evening.

    He said there are also "ominous" warnings over “increased tension... over suspension of visits" and other restrictions.

    View more on twitter
  10. PM use of Zoom for cabinet meetings defended

    The UK government has defended using the online conferencing software Zoom to hold cabinet video conferences.

    Questions had been raised about potential security risks after the prime minister tweeted a picture in which a meeting ID was visible.

    "In the current unprecedented circumstances, the need for effective channels of communication is vital," a government spokeswoman told BBC News

    A source added the app was quick to set up between the varying systems used by different government departments.

    Over time, a more coherent system was expected to be introduced, the source said.

    Screen shot of Zoom meeting
  11. Getting ready for 'huge wave' in cases

    Staff at Wales' largest hospital are getting ready for a potential "huge wave" in new cases of coronavirus.

    Hundreds of doctors and nurses are being trained on dummy patients in a simulation ward at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff.

    And it's not just the clinical staff who are getting ready for new cases - behind the scenes, cleaners and catering staff are working hard to keep the hospital going.

    View more on facebook
  12. 'Be honest' when you call for an ambulance

    People calling 999 for help are not saying they have coronavirus symptoms out of fear an ambulance won't be sent.

    The Welsh Ambulance Service said this meant paramedics were going into people's homes without protective equipment, putting them at risk of contracting the virus.

    In a video message on YouTube, director of operations Lee Brooks said they would always send an ambulance "when warranted" and pleaded with people to be "honest".

    View more on youtube
  13. 'Unintended consequences' of public toilet closures

    Closing public toilets during the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the elderly and delivery drivers, a councillor has said.

    Public conveniences were closed in Gwynedd and Ceredigion to try to limit the spread of the virus.

    But Councillor Mike Stevens, who represents Tywyn, Meirionydd, said this had "unintended consequences".

    He said an elderly woman in his community was treated for dehydration after not drinking anything for hours before a hospital appointment in Aberystwyth, as she was worried she would not find any toilets open during the journey.

    Public toilets
  14. Tory MP demands urgent testing answers

    A Welsh Conservative MP has demanded "urgent answers" from the Welsh Secretary over the situation surround Covid-19 testing.

    It emerged on Saturday that an agreement to provide 5,000 extra tests a day in Wales had collapsed.

    Stephen Crabb, who chairs the UK's Welsh Affairs Committee, has written to fellow Tory Simon Hart, seeking "urgent clarification" on what knowledge and involvement the UK Government had of the deal.

    The Preseli Pembrokeshire MP - himself a former Welsh Secretary - said: “The reported collapse of a deal for up to 5,000 additional daily tests in Wales comes at a moment of heightened public concern about the need for much greater Covid-19 testing.

    "It raises important questions about the level of inter-governmental coordination and cooperation between Whitehall and Cardiff Bay in the procurement of tests and other essential equipment."

    Earlier today, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the company involved in the abandoned testing deal was Roche, but the Swiss firm said there had been no such deal.

    Stephen Crabb
  15. Nursing body calls for urgent action on protective gear

    A nursing body has asked the Health and Safety Executive to intervene as front-line staff are still struggling to access protective gear.

    The Royal College of Nursing in Wales (RCN) said there "continues to be an issue with the provision of Personal Protective Equipment" (PPE) in Wales.

    Director Helen Whyley said: “I have already expressed my concerns to the First Minister and Health Minister for Wales and unfortunately, the problems continue."

    The Welsh Government has accepted there have been "localised challenges and problems" with ensuring PPE is available to all in the Welsh NHS.

    Responding to a question in the Senedd today, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said there had been widespread demand for PPE in “any and every setting”, and a UK-wide “rapid review” of the guidance was underway.

    A medic in a visor
  16. 'A death warrant from the Grim Reaper'

    Elizabeth John was one of the patients with a long-term illness shocked to receive a letter from her GP surgery asking her to a sign a "do not resuscitate" form.

    View more on facebook
  17. Extra £5.5m to support farmers

    An extra £5.5m will be given to schemes to support farmers during the coronavirus outbreak, the Welsh Government has announced.

    The money will be allocated to the Basic Payment Scheme and the Glastir scheme, to alleviate potential cash-flow problems.

    Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said this would help farmers to “keep doing the great work they do and help the sector during this difficult time".

    Conservative Welsh Assembly member Andrew RT Davies described the measures as “weak” and said “more can and should be done to support our rural communities".

    A farmer looking at sheep
  18. 'Police may be sent to funerals with too many mourners'

    Pallbearers with a coffin

    Police could be called if too many mourners turn up to funerals, a funeral director has said.

    Current coronavirus restrictions have meant the number of mourners allowed to attend funerals and cremations is capped in certain areas.

    Dean Thomas, a funeral director in Caerphilly, said he is being asked to restrict numbers to five family members only.

    "The biggest issue we face is families can’t attend," he said.

    "There are guidelines in place which state who can attend. This includes close family, carers, parents and children.

    "If more people turn up, the funeral won’t be allowed to continue, and the police could be called.

    "The local authority are citing safety. Families are being asked to choose. It’s not right."

    Previously, Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said individual funerals may not be possible if the number of coronavirus deaths is at the "top end of the reasonable worst case scenario".

  19. Second temporary hospital site for north Wales

    A temporary hospital with about 250 beds for patients with Covid-19 symptoms is being set up at Bangor University.

    Sports and leisure facilities are being used in a partnership between the university and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

    Health board chairman Mark Polin said: “The development of temporary hospitals like this are central to our plans to achieve the additional capacity we need, alongside developing additional space within our hospitals.

    “I would like to assure the public that the preparatory work on identifying suitable sites has been underway for some time and is now moving at considerable pace.

    “We are assessing sites in Flintshire and Wrexham where a third temporary hospital will be developed.”

    Venue Cymru in Llandudno will also be converted to hold an additional 350 temporary beds, and construction work on a further 80 beds is currently taking place at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

    Canolfan Brailsford, Bangor University