As people stay home, areas that would be packed on a sunny day have been nearly empty.
National park thanks people for staying away
Exmoor National Park Authority has thanked people for following government advice and largely staying away from the beauty spot over the weekend.
Park rangers worked with police officers from Somerset and Devon to offer information and advice to a small number of walkers, just a week after huge crowds were seen at national parks, prompting concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re extremely grateful to everyone for foregoing their visits
to the national park over the weekend and until restrictions lift," said access and recreation manager Dan Barnett.
He added: "The
importance of these places for people’s health and well being cannot be
underestimated and we fully appreciate the sacrifice many are making to protect
The police are receiving calls from people conducting "self-policing" and reporting others who are allegedly breaching the social distancing guidelines set out by the government.
Devon and Cornwall Police say over the weekend, the vast majority of people stuck to the call to stay at home - but there were some exceptions.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said officers would act if they heard about shops opening or people gathering in groups.
He said: "We do get the calls off people who are frustrated seeing gatherings.
"We will respond to that, not as a blue light response but we will deal with it."
He said the force would go to the reported spot if it is "appropriate", but "assess" it alongside what else the force is dealing with at that time.
Have you spotted Dora the Explorer?
Children have been looking out for cartoon characters strolling the streets of Plymouth.
A man is dressing up as cartoon characters for his daily walk - to put a smile on people's faces.
Coronavirus: 'Unacceptable risk' to operate air ambulance
BBC News Online
An air ambulance service will temporarily only be responding to calls by car.
Heléna Holt, CEO of Devon Air Ambulance, said standing down the aircraft "has been a very difficult decision", but one they had to make to "protect all of our crew".
Paramedics wear personal protective gear when treating and attending to patients, but the pilots cannot operate aircraft while doing so or maintain a 2m (6ft) social distance between themselves and the patient.
"As we have no way of knowing whether a patient has coronavirus, this leaves them completely exposed within a small confined space," explained the air ambulance CEO.
"We hope our community will understand that this is an unacceptable risk."
This is a temporary measure and the ambulance service will be working with the NHS to identify other ways to support the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We will do our best to maintain our service and keep being there for patients, albeit by road not air.”
A police chief has spoken out to try and urge people to stay "local" this weekend and save lives.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer told the BBC he could not have "1.7 million adults and children deciding this weekend to drive to beauty spots and beaches".
He is asking people not to drive anywhere this weekend unless it is necessary and to not drive somewhere for their session of exercise.
"Local means local - stay local at home and stay socially responsible. This is about saving human lives, it's that serious.
"If you're driving somewhere, that is not in the spirit of what is intended."
The chief constable said he was "concerned" about maintaining law and order during this time.
"The day that I issue a ticket or have to arrest people... is a very sad day. If it's needed I will do it, but I want that to be our last resort, not out first."
Extra safety measures for Devon blood donors
BBC News Online
People in Devon are being urged to carry on donating blood as normal during the coronavirus pandemic.
The NHS Blood and Transplant service said extra safety measures including triage on arrival and extra cleaning had been put in place.
A spokesman for the service said: "We’ve started triaging everyone who arrives so only people with no risk factors can enter the donation area.
“A lot of people have called us asking if sessions are still going ahead. We need them to know that our sessions and donor centres are still open and that travel to a blood donation session is essential for the NHS."
People must keep donating to make sure blood supplies for hospitals are kept up, he added.
There is a permanent blood donation centre in Plymouth at Derriford Hospital.
Appointments can be made by calling 0300 123 23 23 or going to www.blood.co.uk.
Police explain decision to stop beehive-moving driver
BBC South West
Police have explained why they classed someone who was transporting a beehive as carrying out a non-essential journey.
The Devon and Cornwall Alliance Roads Policing team tweeted on Thursday evening that someone was stopped in Cullompton, Devon, while "taking a beehive to a field".
The motorist was sent home "with strong words of advice"
The move was criticised on social media, with one commentator saying bee-keeping tasks could be carried out by registered keepers "whilst complying with social distancing".
Questions were also raised if officers acted appropriately if the person was involved in food production.
On Friday morning, officers tweeted to clarify the situation, saying the hive was being transported "not in line with employment or essential work, instead this was a hobbie [sic]".
"Had this been the case, then the final decision would have been different," they said.
They added the individual was from a "Covid-19 vulnerable group, and was not adhering to social distancing".
Devon and Cornwall Police is redeploying staff to frontline policing as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The force said 125 officers had so far been redeployed from back office roles including 40 who would be handling phone calls and sergeants being given custody training.
Devon and Cornwall Police said more incidents would be handled over the phone to reduce the risk to staff and the public of spreading the virus.
The public were asked to be patient as the force may take more time to follow up reports relating to lower-level crimes but the force said there were "no types of crime which we will not respond to or log and we will not stop arresting people".
Since the stay at home measures were introduced the force said it had seen a significant reduction in reports of some crimes, such as those related to the evening and night-time economy and motoring, while domestic abuse had increased.
A spokesman said: “Requests for police attendance and the investigations of crimes will be ranked on a basis of the threat, risk and harm and will be responded to proportionately.
“When policing is under strain, from either demand or capacity issues, some services will have to be reduced – such as historic investigations that have a low risk attached to them.
"We will always focus on core policing and serious and violent crime.”
Members of the public are asked to think twice before they contact the force so officers are able to respond to the most pressing matters.
Thinking of coming to the south west for Easter? Don't
Mike Trower and his children, Cody and Lara, have been cooking meals live on social media.
Coronavirus: Summer weather may change spread of virus
We have had several emails asking if the weather or climate
can affect the spread or severity of coronavirus and whilst information on this
new disease is very sparse we can look at how the weather has affected similar
viruses in the past and try to make some observations.
Covid-19 is a respiratory disease that moves from human to human in a similar way to other viruses such as seasonal flu or coughs and colds, it is spread in mucous or water droplets from coughs, sneezes, and breathing from one person to another, and there are a variety of theories as to how long it can survive on a surface outside of the human body.
Seasonal flu or influenza has affected the human population for thousands of years, typically being more virulent in the world’s temperate regions, and more specifically in the winter months of both the northern and southern hemispheres.
There is evidence that seasonal flu has a harder time spreading in hot dry countries, where the viruses living outside of the body struggle with high temperature and arid environments.
There are some studies from scientists from universities in China, who have examined how the coronavirus has been transmitted in several Chinese cities, and have concluded that “high temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduce the transmission of Covid-19”.
At the moment the areas most affected by coronavirus lie between 30-50 degrees north of the equator and, as with seasonal flu, spring and summer could reduce the infection rate with higher temperatures and more UV light, which is known to have an effect on similar viruses.
No one has the answers as to what weather type can help or reduce the spread of Covid-19 but there are similarities to how seasonal flu behaves and there seem to be three critical factors:
Viruses live well within the body at approximately 37C (99F) - normal body temperature. During a fever the virus can be killed which is the body’s response to the infection, normal flu viruses survive and transmit better outside the human body at a much lower temperature and level of humidity.
Those who live in temperate regions tend to spend a lot of the winter time indoors and in close proximity to each other thus aiding the spread of viruses
Vitamin D may play a part in the human immune system to fight viruses, in winter time when the sun is low in temperate regions and people spend more time indoors they typically get less sunshine and therefore make less vitamin D, and that might reduce the immune system.
There are no clear answers as to whether Covid-19 conforms to other types of virus that we know more about, and how much impact the weather will have on it, but sunshine does bring benefits to the immune system in the production of vitamin D, and a higher temperature may help control the survivability of the virus on surfaces.
So heading into spring and summer the sunshine may have an impact on the virus and how we cope with it.
Domestic abuse campaign launched
A new campaign has been launched to tackle domestic abuse as cases are expected to increase due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and reassure victims that they will still have access to support services during the pandemic.
and victim support services have warned that domestic abuse may increase due to
restrictions to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Two people with coronavirus have died at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
A Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust spokesperson said:
“Sadly, we can confirm that two patients who were being cared for at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and died at the hospital on the weekend had tested positive for Covid-19.
"Their families have been informed about the cause of death and are following national guidance.
Our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time."
Coastguard warning over reports of people on beaches
BBC News Online
The coastguard has urged people to stay at home after getting reports of groups of people on beaches around the UK during the coronavirus lockdown.
Pete Mizen, assistant director for HM Coastguard, said: “The rules are very simple and can be found on the government website.
"Stay at home. The risk of spreading coronavirus is huge and while you might be okay, the person you give it to may not.
"And if you get into trouble and have to call 999 and ask for the coastguard, you’re then putting frontline emergency responders at risk of Covid-19 too."
The RNLi has suspended lifeguard patrols at beaches around Devon and Cornwall due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A spokesperson said: "Following the Government’s instruction as of 23 March for people to stay at home and avoid gathering outdoors, the RNLI has made the decision to immediately pause the rollout of lifeguard patrols onto beaches."
The RNLI said it hoped to bring the service back "when the situation changes".
Surfing England said surfers should "stay at home" to avoid putting themselves and others at risk with "non-essential travel".
The organisation said: "There may be a lucky few who can walk out their door and jump into the sea, but for the vast majority of us who need to travel to the beach, it should now be considered off limits.
"This is a tough call to make, but one we should all respect as we collectively fight the spread of Covid 19."
Musician Simon Dobson from Plymouth has, like many people, found that his workload has dried up over the next few weeks.
With a bit of time on his hands, he decided to write a series of compositions, where he plays all of the trumpet parts, that reflect the changing mood of the country, and the upsides and downsides of self-isolation...
Police conducting stop checks on roads in Devon and Cornwall
They are the first deaths from coronavirus at the hospital.
Across England, all patients were aged between 33 and 103 and all were in vulnerable groups including with underlying conditions said the Department of Health.
It comes as the number of people with coronavirus to have died in the UK reached 422 on Tuesday, the Department of Health said - a rise of 87 on Monday's figures. There are now more than 8,000 confirmed cases.
Sadly, we can confirm two patients who had been cared for at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died. The patients were both aged over 70 and died on Sunday. Their families have been informed and advised to follow national guidance. Our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time. Out of respect for their privacy we will not be commenting further.”
Coronavirus: Travelling to Dartmoor 'puts lives at risk'
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Travelling to Dartmoor National
Park could put the lives of those who live and work there at risk say managers amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
All car parks, toilets and visitor centres on Dartmoor have been closed, as is the park authority’s HQ at Parke.
Dartmoor National Park said anyone going to the park would be "putting the lives of our communities at risk and additional pressure on our health and other local services".
A spokesman said that until the pandemic was over, park staff could be reached by phone or email.
Planning applications should be made via the planning portal website.
"We will be continuing to validate and process applications where possible and will keep you informed where there are any problems or delays," he said.
'Don't come to Devon during outbreak' - tourism bosses
BBC South West
Devon's main tourism body has advised potential visitors not to come to the county during the coronavirus outbreak
Visit Devon said it was advising visitors not to come at this time because government guidelines were advising against any non-essential travel "and travelling to Devon to holiday or visit your second home cannot be considered to be essential travel".
It said stopping the spread of the virus was essential as "rural communities lack the infrastructure and NHS facilities to be able to cope with an influx of visitors".
The county would be "delighted to welcome you" later, it added.
School staff given advice on how to stay 'virus free'
School staff should strip off and put their clothes in the wash as soon as they return from a shift where they have been in contact with children.
In advice sent by councils across the region, staff have been told they are less likely to get coronavirus from children coughing than from the surfaces they touch.
They have been advised to tie their hair back and take any jewellery off.
They should leave a black bin liner outside their house so when they return from work they can put their clothes straight in it and into the washing machine.
The advice is to then go straight to the shower and not touch any door handles. If that is not possible then all handles should be wiped down. Body and hair must be thoroughly washed with shampoo before they are "virus free".
Police stop car towing caravan during coronavirus lockdown
There is still a steady stream of traffic heading through Mutley Plain in Plymouth, and quite a lot of people walking through, although generally keeping their distance from each other.
The new guidance from the UK government says people should only leave their homes for:
Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine. Shopping trips should be as infrequent as possible
One form of exercise a day such as a run, walk or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with
Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. This includes moving children under the age of 18 between their parents' homes, where applicable. Key workers or those with children identified as vulnerable can continue to take their children to school
Travelling to and from work, but only where work absolutely cannot be done from home