Norwich

England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Coronavirus deaths increase in East

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths has been released by the government.

In the East, up to the end of Tuesday there was an increase of 39 deaths in the region's hospitals, taking the total number to 3,554. Monday's figures recorded 18 deaths, but the jump is likely to be a result of the reporting lag over the bank holiday.

·Basildon and Thurrock: 1

·Bedford Hospital: 3

·Cambridge University Hospitals: 1

·East and North Hertfordshire: 2

·East Suffolk and North Essex (Ipswich and Colchester hospitals): 4

·James Paget, Gorleston: 1

·Luton and Dunstable Hospital: 7

·Mid Essex Hospital: 4

·Milton Keynes Hospital: 1

·Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 3

·Northampton General: 1

·Southend Hospital: 3

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn: 6

·West Hertfordshire Hospitals: 2

The total number of Covid-19 associated UK deaths now stands at 37,460.

Welcome to Thursday's coronavirus updates

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

We will be bringing you all the latest coronavirus news from across the East of England - from the latest statistics to how key workers and our communities are coping.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad - please contact BBC News Online (East).

Reach us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or email us.

What the papers are saying in Norfolk

  • More than £50m has been paid by North Norfolk District Council to support small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, the EDP reports
  • The Norwich Evening News reports that a DJ, who has been getting people to dance on their doorsteps to lift spirits, has been told he can keep doing it despite complaints
  • While in Fakenham, people are having their mail delivered by posties dressed up as Scooby Doo, a chicken, banana or a jester to help cheer customers up and to raise money for charity, the Lynn News reports

Reopening of schools 'more difficult' after Cummings row

A Norwich head teacher says the prime minister’s defence of his aide Dominic Cummings will make school reopenings even more difficult as lockdown rules are relaxed.

Pupil walking to school
Reuters

Boris Johnson's chief adviser admitted travelling from London to Durham during the height of lockdown.

Binks Neate-Evans, executive head of Angel Road Infant and Junior School and Bignold Primary School, said the PM’s handling of the crisis had heightened her fears over the "shoddy and badly timed guidance" of schools re-opening to more pupils.

In a letter to local MPs, Mrs Neate-Evans said: "My worries and that of my staff are escalated because we know the impact the debacle will have on sticking to lockdown."

Mr Lewis, Norwich South Labour MP, said scientists "have come out and said if you put schools re-opening back by two weeks, you halve deaths."

The Conservative MP for Norwich North, Chloe Smith, said: "As an MP, I will always represent my constituents’ views to Westminster," but added that she respected the prime minister’s decision to back Mr Cummings.

Norfolk part of Covid-19 'test, track and trace' pilot

BBC Breakfast

Norfolk is part of trials of the government's new test, track and trace system, the county council's director of public health said.

The scheme, which has been labelled a key component in the fight against coronavirus, is being rolled out in 11 counties across England from today.

Dr Louise Smith, director of health at Norfolk County Council, told BBC Breakfast that the pilot scheme "starts now".

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health at Norfolk County Council
BBC

She said they were working closely with the NHS to identify cases early and then test those who have been in contact with those confirmed patients.

Dr Smith said people who have been diagnosed would be asked to log details online of where they have been and who they had been in contact with from two days before they became unwell and up to seven days afterwards.

"When we've got those details, we would then contact people either through the website or from the call centres, get in touch with those people who have been in contact and arrange for them to have a test," she said.

Coronavirus death rate increases in East

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The latest statistics showing the daily rise in coronavirus deaths has been released by the government.

In the East of England, there was an increase of 18 deaths in the region's hospitals in the latest daily figures, taking the total number to 3,515.

The new deaths were at the following hospital trusts:

·Anglian Community Enterprise (Clacton and Harwich): 1

·Bedford Hospital: 3

·East Suffolk and North Essex (Ipswich and Colchester hospitals): 2

·James Paget, Gorleston: 2

·Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 1

·North West Anglia (Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke hospitals): 5

·Northampton General: 3

·West Suffolk Hospital: 1

The total number of Covid-19 associated UK deaths now stands at 37,048.

Welcome to Wednesday's coronavirus updates

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

We will be bringing you all the latest coronavirus news from across the East of England - from the latest statistics to how key workers and our communities are coping.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad - please contact BBC News Online (East).

Reach us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or email us.

You can catch up with yesterday's live page here.

Norfolk MP demands Cummings 'admits' his error

One of the region's Conservative MPs has called for the Prime Minister's chief advisor to admit to an error of judgement and face a reprimand.

View more on twitter

Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, tweeted that Dominic Cummings broke the spirit, if not the letter, of lockdown guidance.

Mr Cummings admitted in a press conference to travelling 260 miles from London to Durham with his wife Mary after the lockdown period had begun.

Mr Baker said he had made his thoughts known to senior figures in the government that Mr Cummings had undermined the whole essence of the "stay at home" message.

He wrote on Twitter that, given his strong stance imploring people not to visit second homes in his coastal constituency, "you can imagine how strongly" he feels about the situation.

Coronavirus death rate falls again in the East

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths has been released by the government.

In the East, in Monday's figures there was an increase of 11 deaths in the region's hospitals, taking the total number to 3,497.

·Basildon and Thurrock: 2

·East and North Hertfordshire: 1

·East Suffolk and North Essex (Ipswich and Colchester hospitals): 1

·James Paget, Gorleston: 1

·Northamptonshire Healthcare: 1

·Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn: 1

·West Hertfordshire Hospitals: 2

·West Suffolk Hospital: 2

Figures released on Sunday showed a rise of 33 deaths, and there was a rise of 24 in Saturday's figures.

The total number of UK deaths associated with Covid-19 stands at 36,914.

Welcome to Tuesday's coronavirus updates

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

We will be bringing you all the latest coronavirus news from across the East of England - from the latest statistics to how key workers and our communities are coping.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad - please contact BBC News Online (East).

Reach us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or email us.

'You can not stay 2m away when carrying a stretcher'

A coastguard is warning people who are choosing to go to the beach this weekend to be "prepared" to follow "advice" and "look after themselves".

Tony Garbutt, HM Coastguard's senior coastal operations officer for north Norfolk, said: "When the emergency services have to render a rescue to anybody, that covid bubble we are trying to stay within shrinks.

It is impossible to stay 2m apart "when you are carrying a stretcher", he added.

"When you get into trouble you change everyone's aspect of having to deal with Covid-19."

Tony Garbutt
BBC

Extra police to patrol beaches

The head of a police force has said the recent "shift" in people visiting coastal towns is "concerning".

To cope with the additional visitors expected in Norfolk this bank holiday weekend, more police will be on hand to enforce social distancing.

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Police, said local people were being put at risk.

"This last few days there just seems to have been a shift and it's a shift that really concerns me", he said.

Hunstanton beach
Hunstanton coastguard
Hunstanton beach on Wednesday

'Stay away' is the message from seaside communities

After complaints that visitors to the seaside across many parts of the country were not observing social distancing rules, Visit Norfolk is one of many coastal tourist organisations asking people to do the opposite of its remit.

View more on twitter

No swimming in deep and cold broads adventure park warns

People taking advantage of the relaxation of "stay at home" Covid-19 rules by visiting a popular adventure park have been warned to stay clear of its enticing waters.

The Little and Great Whitlingham Broads near Norwich are deep and still very cold at this time of year, so are not safe for swimming however warm the weather.

View more on twitter

What the papers are saying in Norfolk

  • Scientists who mooted an ambitious project which would see everyone in Norwich tested for coronavirus once a week say they still hope it could happen, the Eastern Daily Press reports
  • Swaffham Rotary's Charity Golf Day has become the latest victim of the pandemic, but a sponsor has agreed money will be donated to the Alzheimer's Society, the Lynn News and Advertiser reports
  • A government coronavirus grant of £10,000 was unable to save Diss business Skincense, the Diss Express reports

Coronavirus deaths in the East falls again

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

Figures revealing the latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths have been released by the government and it shows a declining trend in the East of England again.

In Thursday's statistics, there was an increase of 29 deaths in the region's hospitals, compared to a rise of 44 new deaths in the previous day's figures.

It takes the region's total number of Covid-19-related deaths to 3,402. The latest daily figures show deaths by hospital trust:

·Anglian Community, Fryatt Hospital: 1

·East Suffolk and North Essex (Ipswich and Colchester hospitals): 5

·James Paget, Gorleston: 1

·Kettering General Hospital: 1

·Mid Essex Hospital: 3

·Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 2

·North West Anglia (Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke hospitals): 5

·Northampton General: 3

·Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow: 1

·Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn: 2

·Southend: 3

·West Hertfordshire Hospitals: 2

The total number of Covid-19 deaths across the whole UK now stands at 36,042.

Welcome to Friday's coronavirus updates

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

We will be bringing you all the latest coronavirus news from across the East of England - from the latest statistics to how key workers and our communities are coping.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad - please contact BBC News Online (East).

Reach us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or email us.

Police chief: 'There is a sense that the lockdown has been lifted'

BBC Radio Norfolk

A police chief says his officers are now dealing with “far more” people heading for east coast resorts, and he is concerned this might spread Covid-19.

Norfolk’s Chief Constable Simon Bailey said there was a risk to local communities from people travelling to the county’s coastal towns.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey
BBC

Officers were facing a huge challenge where social distancing was not being observed in the hot weather during the coronavirus lockdown, he said.

“We are putting ourselves at risk by failing social distancing. We are actually dealing with far more people now heading for the coast," he said.

Mr Bailey said he was very concerned that, after some rules were relaxed, some people felt they could do what they wanted and that the coronavirus challenge had passed.

“There is a sense that the lockdown has been lifted," he said.

What the papers are saying in Norfolk…

  • Bernard Matthews worker, Joe Pearce, 35, was suspended for wearing a face mask and then sacked when he vented his anger on Facebook, the Eastern Daily Press reports
  • The Lynn News reports that education chiefs in Norfolk have called for patience as the controversy over the partial re-opening of schools following the coronavirus shutdown continues
  • Norwich City’s players are understood to be returning to training in small groups from today, as a report suggests that none of the club’s players or staff have tested positive for coronavirus, the Pink 'Un reports

Coronavirus deaths in the East up again

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths has been released by the government.

In the East there was an increase of 44 deaths in the region's hospitals, taking the total number so far to 3,373.

·Basildon and Thurrock: 1

·Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust: 1

·East and North Hertfordshire: 1

·East Suffolk and North Essex (Ipswich and Colchester hospitals): 1

·Hertfordshire Partnership: 1

·Kettering General Hospital: 8

·Luton and Dunstable: 14

·Mid Essex Hospital: 1

·Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 1

·North West Anglia (Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke hospitals): 5

·Northampton General: 2

·Southend Hospital: 8

The total number of Covid-19 associated UK deaths now stands at 35,704.

National Trust parks opening - but parking reservations required

The National Trust is opening several of its coast and countryside parks in the East of England this Bank Holiday weekend, but visitors must book a car parking space first.

Wicken Fen
Geograph/Christine Johnstone

Some venues, including Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, have already reached capacity.

On its website, the trust said: "For some of our larger car parks, we’ve introduced a booking system to help manage visitor numbers and maintain safe social distancing."

Other venues opening include Blickling Hall and Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk as well as Dunwich Heath and Beach in Suffolk.

Smaller, local car parks not require booking.

Welcome to Thursday's coronavirus updates

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

Good morning. We will be bringing you all the latest coronavirus news from across the East of England - from the latest statistics to how key workers and our communities are coping.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad - please contact BBC News Online (East).

Reach us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or email us.

Council buys homes for homeless amid 'funding withdrawal'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Accommodation is being bought for homeless people amid claims the government has withdrawn its scheme to support people through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rough sleeper
BBC

North Norfolk District Council is to spend £117,000 on a two-bed flat in North Walsham to offer to a homeless family. It follows two similar purchases earlier this year.

Reports the government would no longer fund a scheme which saw homeless people put up in hotels to keep them safe from the virus, were published by the BBC last week, following a leak to the Manchester Evening News.

Council leader Sarah Butikofer said she was "very worried" about the claims, but added "now we've managed to get those people into accommodation, it's an ideal time to work with them".

A council report stated that officers had been working to buy four properties with an agreed budget of £610,000.

An earlier statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "Any suggestion that the government is reneging on the commitment set out at the start of this national emergency is entirely wrong."

Tuesday's updates as they happened

Thanks for joining us to find out how the East of England is reacting to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Live updates have now finished for the day.

Join us again on Wednesday when a live page will resume at 08:00.

Find it via your BBC News county index.

The back to school quandary: Your questions answered

The big post-lockdown coronavirus discussion in many homes is whether to send children back to school if, as the government plans, they re-open at the start of June.

It's an issue that's become really divisive and tonight we're talking about it here in our latest BBC East digital live event on Facebook.

Your Questions Answered graphic
BBC

Teaching unions, backed by the British Medical Association, have raised concerns about safety. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has insisted England's schools are safe to reopen, but acknowledged that "you can never eliminate risk".

On the panel will be experts from the world of science and education including Cambridge-based virologist Dr Chris Smith from The Naked Scientists, along with your host BBC Look East's health correspondent Nikki Fox.

We'd love your questions and view points - add them now as a comment here and during the broadcast starting on this page from 19:00.

Coronavirus death rate increases in East again

Julian Sturdy

BBC Look East

The latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths has just been released by the government, and the rate of increase is higher than the previous two days.

In the East, there was an increase of 27 deaths in the region's hospitals, taking the total number to 3,336.

  • Bedford Hospital: 6
  • Cambridge University Hospitals: 3
  • East and North Hertfordshire: 3
  • East Suffolk and North Essex (Ipswich and Colchester hospitals): 1
  • James Paget, Gorleston: 1
  • Kettering General Hospital: 1
  • Mid Essex Hospital: 3
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 1
  • Norfolk Community Health and Care: 1
  • North West Anglia (Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke hospitals): 4
  • West Hertfordshire Hospitals: 2
  • West Suffolk Hospital: 1

Figures released yesterday showed a rise of 19 deaths, and there was a rise of 12 in Sunday's figures.

The total number of Covid-19 associated UK deaths now stands at 34,796.

Bog roll stolen and public loos forced to close over Covid-19 vandalism

Local Democracy Reporting Service

It's emerged that public toilets across north Norfolk were closed as coronavirus spread because people were stealing toilet paper and hand soap from them before the lockdown began.

Toilet rolls
Reuters

North Norfolk District Council closed its 17 public toilets following repeated vandalism, a report for councillors said, ahead of a virtual council meeting held yesterday.

"As guidance on social-distancing increased during the week of 16 March and there was some evidence of panic buying of hand sanitiser, soap and toilet rolls, the authority saw some vandalism and theft from its public toilets and a decision was taken to close 17 facilities on 19 March, under delegated authority of the head of paid service," the report stated.

The thefts were described as a "response to panic buying" and the closures allowed for the "redirection" of cleaning staff to other areas and activities.

More trains running to help with social distancing

The number of people travelling on the railways has increased since last week.

The train operator Greater Anglia started running extra services again... with the number of weekday trains back up to "Saturday service" levels.

Jonathan Denby, from Greater Anglia, said more carriages had been added so people can social distance, and Network Rail released more guidance around stations, so designated walking routes were now in place.

Norwich Railway Station
Greater Anglia

Coronavirus deaths increase in East

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The number of new daily coronavirus deaths was released by the government on Monday.

In the East, there was an increase of 19 deaths in the region's hospitals, taking the total number to 3,309.

  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare: 4
  • East and North Herts: 4
  • Kettering General Hospital: 4
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 1
  • Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke hospitals: 1
  • Northampton General Hospital: 1
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow: 1
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn: 1
  • West Suffolk Hospital: 2

The total number of Covid-19 associated UK deaths is 34,796.

Welcome to Tuesday's coronavirus updates

Alex Pope

BBC News Online

We will be bringing you all the latest coronavirus news from across the East of England - from the latest statistics to how key workers and our communities are coping.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad - please contact BBC News Online (East).

Reach us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or email us.

Norwich and Watford could return to training tomorrow

Pete Cooper

BBC News

Premier League clubs have agreed to stage one of the return to training protocols which allows teams to start training in small groups from Tuesday.

Clubs voted unanimously on the decision at Monday's "Project Restart" meeting.

Players must observe social distancing rules, and contact training is not permitted.

Norwich City published the Premier League's statement on their website which said: "The health and wellbeing of all participants is the Premier League's priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process."

Watford simply tweeted a picture of their training ground with the words "back soon".

View more on twitter

Air ambulance cancels fundraising events

Pete Cooper

BBC News

The East Anglian Air Ambulance says it has made the "difficult decision" to cancel two of its fundraising events.

Only The Brave, which is a six- 10-mile mud obstacle run, and Trek 24 were due to take place in October and September but "considering the need to observe social distancing" the charity said the events were unable to go ahead, with the obstacle run having already been postponed once before, in March.

Prince William with a East Anglian Air Ambulance helicopter
PA Media
The Duke of Cambridge was a pilot with the EAAA, 2015-17

The charity said in a statement on it website that tickets and sponsorship can be refunded, or can be given to the charity as a donation.

The helicopter service also said those who signed up to this year's events would get priority access to the 2021 events when they were arranged.

King's Cross near deserted despite capacity ramp up

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

King's Cross Station, which sees passengers arrive from Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, was almost deserted on Monday morning despite a drive to get more trains running.

King's Cross
PA Media

The concourse was dotted with stickers reading "Protect your NHS, stay 2M apart", while regular announcements urged people to stick to social distancing.

The few commuters waiting for trains spoke about how people will be able to keep two metres apart once passenger numbers start to rise.

PC Jason Kelly, on his way to his home in north Hertfordshire after a night shift, said that up until a week ago, in the early morning there were only two people on the train which went up to about 30 or 40 last week.

"For some people it's just like a normal day, people have got fed up with it [coronavirus] - they've had enough," he said.

Victor Stringer, 69, on his way home to Peterborough, was optimistic about passengers sticking to the guidance.

"It's been so quiet, I could almost have realised my boyhood dream of riding upfront with the driver," he said.

"The social distancing message does seem to be working - the buses are very busy but most people are trying very hard to give people space."

What the papers are saying in Norfolk...

  • The Eastern Daily Press reports that holiday parks and attractions across Norfolk and Suffolk are making preparations ahead of potentially reopening in the summer
  • It also reports that the owner of Norwich’s Chapelfield shopping centre, Intu, said it expects to breach covenants on its loans because of coronavirus
  • The North Norfolk News reports that a third seaside carnival has cancelled

Rail services increase as lockdown restrictions eased

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

Efforts to get more commuters safely back to work by train are coming into force today following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Station platform
Getty Images

More services will be running than at any time since lockdown began, but rail companies are planning to limit the number of people boarding trains, and some seats may be blocked off. Security guards are also in place at several stations.

Check websites for full details: Thameslink, Great Northern, London Northwestern, Chiltern Railways and Greater Anglia.

East Midlands Railway has warned that the new timetable will only allow a "small rise" in the numbers it can accommodate and Avanti West Coast said it would not allow carriages to be more than a third full.

The London North Eastern Railway is also asking passengers to help to keep services clear for those who need them most.

People are still being advised to use public transport only if it's essential and they have no alternative.

Emma Watson, from Network Rail, said: "We have done the calculations and analysis to ensure that we can have a certain amount of people on the concourse at any one time and yes, there will be closures to entrance and exits should those numbers increase and grow."