Coronavirus: Live updates on COVID-19 in the South West

Welcome to the ITV News West Country coronavirus live blog for the week beginning 6 April.

Here you will find the latest information and updates regarding the pandemic, including case numbers, event cancellations and venue closures.

We will also be highlighting some of the positive efforts being made by our local communities to support one another during the crisis.


2:45pm - NHS England release the latest coronavirus figures for the West Country

They show 46 people have died from coronavirus in one day in the region. Gloucestershire saw the largest increase with 11 fatalities bringing its total to 84.

Across the West Country, so far, 473 people have died.

11:15am - Community members set up a crowdfunding page to help rebuild a playground that was burnt down in Bristol

Read the full story:

Police have been urging people to stay at home over the Easter holiday to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus but a control room supervisor in Devon says some have been flouting rules.

5:30pm - Here are some of the headlines from today Saturday 11 April:

2:45pm - NHS release their daily figures per Trust for coronavirus deaths in the West Country

Overall across the region there have been 18 more deaths bringing the total to 427.

Latest numbers:

2:30pm - A theatre in Cirencester is doing what it can to help the NHS

1:45pm - NHS confirm Westpoint Arena in Exeter as new Nightingale Hospital

It will provide an extra 200 ICU beds if needed Credit: ITV West Country

Westpoint Exeter will become a new NHS Nightingle Hospital to provide 200 extra beds for patients with coronavirus symptoms if needed.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter brings the total to seven confirmed NHS Nightingale Hospitals in a matter of weeks.

Read the full story here:

11:00am - Police say people are listening to warnings to stay at home during Easter break

As police warn people to stay home over the East weekend, officers in Cornwall say the message seems to be getting through.


Here are some of the key headlines today (Friday, April 10):

Scroll down to read updates as they happen from across the West Country on Friday, April 10

6.30pm - That's it for today

That's it for today's live updates on coronavirus in the West Country.

Take a look at some of this week's top stories:

5.30pm - Chief Nursing Officer confirms Exeter Nightingale Hospital

The Chief Nursing Officer has confirmed there will be a Nightingale Hospital in Exeter, based at Westpoint.

Ruth May said the extra hospital will be a part of the NHS' nationwide response to Covid-19, which is "the greatest healthcare challenge" it has ever faced.

Also in the briefing Health Secretary Matt Hancock issued another warning to people to "stay at home" this Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Speaking at the daily press conference, he said: "This is a national effort, and every single person in this country can play their part in this plan."

For more on today's conference, click here.

4.30pm - Some of the highlights of last night's Clap for Carers

People from across the West Country took their doorsteps, balconies and front gardens last night to show their appreciation for NHS workers.

It was the third week such an event happened amid the coronavirus lockdown.

It's not the only gesture of kindness people from the region have been showing key workers, though.

For more uplifting stories, click here.

2.30pm - Number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the West Country now stands at 409

2.00pm - How can people celebrate their faith at a crucial time of year?

April 2020 - This empty church in Odd Down, Bath lit up in blue as a thank you to the key workers in the area. Credit: St Philip and St James Church

Today is Good Friday - one of the most important days in the Christian faith - but churches are closed and traditional processions are banned.

People of all faiths are resorting to modern technology to worship, while many are helping out vulnerable people in their communities.

1.00pm - Devon man jailed for coughing on three police officers

Ritchie Buckthorpe purposely coughed on three police officers. Credit: PA images

A man has been jailed for 52 weeks after pleading guilty to purposely coughing on three police officers while he was being arrested.

Ritchie Buckthorpe, 31, appeared at Exeter Magistrates Court on 4 April following the incident in Plymouth.

Buckthorpe was aggressive to the officers and coughed directly into their faces, saying "oh yea, I'm definitely not well either".

The Crown Prosecution Service identified it as a coronavirus-related assault on an emergency worker.

12.00pm - Local MP calls for churches to open on Easter Sunday

Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, has asked for churches to be open for prayer on Easter Sunday Credit: PA images

Jack Lopresti, the Conservative representative for Filton and Bradley Stoke, wrote to the Government calling for churches to be open on Easter Sunday “for private prayer”.

The open letter to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has led to widespread criticism.

Read the full story here.

10.00am - Ministers urge people to stay home this Easter weekend

Ministers are concerned that the hot weather could tempt some people to flout the lockdown rules. Credit: PA images

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken out of intensive care, ministers have urged people not to “ruin” the UK’s progress on coronavirus by flouting lockdown laws this Easter weekend.

The Government has launched a publicity drive to urge people to stay at home during the bank holiday weekend, when the weather is expected to remain warm and sunny.

Here's Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, with a reminder to people ahead of the weekend:

7pm - That's it from us

That is it for today's live updates on the coronavirus in the West Country.

A reminder of some of our top stories from this week:

Thank you to those who have been following our updates online, and to those who have tuned in to watch our programmes.

We'd like to leave tonight's blog on a positive note, so click here to read about the lovely acts of kindness being shown to our refuse collectors in Cornwall.

And for more on the coronavirus, click here for the latest updates from ITV News.

6.54pm - Clap For Our Carers at 8pm

People have been showing their appreciation for NHS workers and carers. Credit: PA

Across the United Kingdom, millions of people are anticipated to stand on their doorsteps to show their appreciation for NHS workers.

From people self-isolating alone to whole streets and tower blocks, people across the nation will come together in a massive show of support for our emergency workers.

It is the third week such an event has happened amid the coronavirus crisis.

It will start at 8pm - and we'd like to see your videos of it.

Send them to us via email on or tag us in them on social media.

You can read more on tonight's Clap For Our Carers event here.

6.14pm - Man dies following crash on A30 in Devon

A man has died following a crash on the A30 in Devon this morning.

Police were called at 7am this morning, Thursday 9 April, with reports of a single vehicle collision on the A30 eastbound carriageway between the Woodleigh and Fingle Glen junctions near Tedburn St Mary.

The road was closed for several hours while a forensic examination took place.

This afternoon the police confirmed the crash was fatal.

6pm - Watch ITV News West Country online!

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Click here to watch the programme live.

5.47pm - Airbnb bans bookings after Cornish holiday lets advertised during lockdown

St Ives in Cornwall is a popular destination for holiday-makers. Credit: PA

Airbnb has bowed to public pressure and banned bookings for the current coronavirus lockdown period.

The well-known booking firm introduced the ban after complaints were made by Government officials and communities across the West Country.

The company has also offered refunds on bookings for holidays which have had to be cancelled in light of lockdown restrictions.

You can read more on this story here.

5.23pm - UK coronavirus death toll rises to 7,978

The death toll has risen by 881 to 7,978. Credit: PA

The coronavirus death toll has risen to 7,978, an increase of 881 from the day before, Dominic Raab confirmed.

The Foreign Secretary was speaking at the daily press conference, in which he said "we're not done yet" on the lockdown measures.

Mr Raab said a decision would not be made on the lockdown restrictions until the end of next week, as data on the impact of social distancing was still being gathered.

He said 243,421 people have been tested for the virus and 65,077 have tested positive for Covid-19.

You can read more on Mr Raab's briefing here.

4.59pm - Dominic Raab leads the UK Government's daily coronavirus briefing

4.10pm - A quiet A30 in Cornwall

ITV News West Country reporter Kathy Wardle has captured this video of a very quiet-looking A30 in Cornwall.

Typically busy at this time on a normal weekday, this was the scene at Scorrier a little earlier on.

It comes after Devon and Cornwall Police warned any holidaymakers or second home owners they catch travelling to the region this weekend will face being fined and sent home.

3.59pm - Public told to stay at home over Easter weekend

The public has been urged to stay at home to help save lives by resisting the temptation to travel over Easter as the country remains in lockdown as part of strict measures to control the coronavirus outbreak.

As well as people making trips abroad, the Easter weekend would traditionally see hundreds of thousands of people enjoy staycations in the UK, as well as flock to beauty spots across the country.

Instead, lockdown rules in place mean the public are being urged to only leave their homes if it is necessary and are being told to adopt social distancing measures when they do.

Click here to read this story in full.

3.15pm - Police car spat on in Totnes

Police officers in Totnes said their car was spat on after they told sunbathers to move on during the lockdown. Credit: PA

Police officers tasked with moving sunbathers on during the lockdown in Devon found a nasty surprise waiting for them upon returning to their vehicle.

Sergeant Tim Perrin, of Devon and Cornwall Police, reported seeing people out sunbathing, reading and drinking near the River Dart in Totnes on Wednesday (8 April).

But after asking them to move on and return home, the officer said he returned to his marked police vehicle only to find someone had spat all over one of the door handles.

Read more here.

2.46pm - Great Western Hospital doctor dies from coronavirus

Dr Edmond Adedeji.

A 'respected and well-liked' doctor at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon has died from coronavirus.

Dr Edmond Adedeji, who was 62, had been working as a locum registrar in the Emergency Department since August last year.

His family paid tribute to him saying 'he died doing a job he loved'.

Click here to read their tribute in full.

2.01pm - Lockdown measures will not be relaxed next week, No 10 hints

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Shehab Khan

Downing Street has hinted coronavirus lockdown restrictions will not be relaxed following a review next week, as it urged people to remain indoors over the Easter weekend.

A Cobra meeting due to be held later by First Secretary Dominic Raab will involve lockdown review discussions with leaders of the devolved nations.

But ahead of any decision, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned against any relaxation decision.

More on this story here.

1.47pm - Decline in crime across the West Country

A police van parked in Primrose Hill, north London. Credit: PA

Police forces are recording a sharp downturn in crime rates in the COVID-19 lockdown.

Devon and Cornwall says crimes including shoplifting and burglaries from homes have halved in the last few weeks while Avon and Somerset says overall crime has reduced by 38 per cent.

You can read this story in full, which includes a full breakdown of the latest crime figures, by clicking here.

1.31pm - Police stop Devon holidaymakers in Lake District

The holidaymakers from Devon were on their way to the Lake District. Credit: South Lakes Police / Twitter

Holidaymakers from Devon have been asked to return to the West Country after being stopped by police - five hours away in the Lake District.

The group were stopped in a campervan near Windermere by officers who were patrolling the roads.

Click here to read the story in full.

12.00pm - Devon and Cornwall Police warn people not to travel unless it's absolutely essential, this Easter weekend

More on this here.

11.00am - Clean Air Zones delayed due to coronavirus

Bristol was the first city in the UK to propose a full diesel ban in its city centre. Credit: Bristol City Council

The implementation of Clean Air Zones in both Bristol and Bath have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on businesses.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees confirmed the news on his website.

He said the city is already in a "Covid-provoked recession" and "businesses large and small in Bristol have seen a significant impact."

In 2019 Bristol City Council approved plans to enforce a full diesel ban in the city centre, making it the first UK city to do so.

The initial implementation date for this was March 2021.

Bath's Clean Air Zone has also been postponed. Credit: ITV West Country

Bath and North East Somerset Council has also confirmed that Bath's Clean Air Zone plans are delayed as a result of the outbreak.

In a statement a spokesperson from the council said:

"In light of Government Guidance, Bath’s clean air zone will not go live before January 2021 and we are waiting for further information from government on when it they recommend it should start."


10.00am - Join the third #ClapforCarers at 8.00pm tonight to thank the NHS workers on the frontline during the pandemic

People from the West Country are again being encouraged to join the third #ClapforCarers at 8.00pm tonight.

For the third time this evening people will open their front doors, stand by their windows or venture into their gardens to show appreciation for NHS workers as they continue to fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

As always we want to see your videos!

Email them to us:

Here's a selection of some of the things people from the South West did last week to thank all those working on the frontline:


08.00am - Police catch Devon holidaymakers travelling through Lake District

The holidaymakers from Devon were caught travelling through the Lake District, in spite of lockdown restrictions. Credit: @SouthLakesPol / Twitter

A group of holidaymakers from Devon have been asked to return home after they were caught in their caravan travelling through the Lake District.

South Lakes Police stopped the vehicle in Windermere - around five hours away from the West Country - and told the individuals to go home.

Read the full story here.

07.30am - Senior ministers to hold 'lockdown summit' later today, which is expected to result in extension of restrictions

Dominic Raab will chair the emergency meeting later today. Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the Prime Minister, will chair a Cobra emergency committee to discuss current lockdown measures with leaders of the devolved nations.

With yesterday seeing a rise in the number of hospital deaths of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 - and the Prime Minister spending a third night in intensive care - it seems the lockdown will not be lifted yet.

For more on today's Cobra meeting, head to the ITV National page.

6.00am - Big Issue vendors from across the region face 'very desperate times'

The coronavirus lockdown has left Big Issue vendors struggling for business. Credit: ITV West Country

A Big Issue vendor from Plymouth has told ITV West Country about the "desperate times" the coronavirus lockdown has left vendors like him in.

With the region's high streets empty, their earnings have been reduced to virtually nothing.

But help is being provided for them - the Big Issue has set up an emergency support fund to help vendors during the crisis.

Full story here.


7.19pm - That's it from us

Thank you to everyone who has followed our coronavirus updates online today, and to those who watched our programme earlier this evening.

7.08pm - Former fighter pilot on his ‘traumatic’ hospital battle with coronavirus

A former RAF fighter pilot from Cheltenham says he has been left traumatised after recovering from coronavirus in hospital.

Dave Lewins was admitted to Cheltenham General Hospital in March after he contracted the virus.

Despite being physically fit, the 60-year-old’s health deteriorated rapidly and he was moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) - where he was placed on a ventilator.

You can watch the our full report on former fighter pilot Dave above, or click here to read the article on our website.

6.39pm - Police appeal after pensioner’s beehives destroyed

Ron Hoskins' beehives were torched in a suspected arson attack. Credit: Dave Hoskins

Police in Wiltshire have issued an appeal after a pensioner’s beehives were destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

Ron Hoskins’ beehives were torched along with his shed and greenhouse at Stanton Fitzwarren by Highworth, near Swindon, in March.

More on this story here.

5.54pm - Extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced hundreds of millions in funding for frontline charities. Credit: 10 Downing Street

Frontline charities are being granted an extra £750 million in funding so they can keep going through the coronavirus crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

Tens of thousands of charities in the UK are set to benefit from the package, which has been announced so they can meet increased demand caused by Covid-19.

The chancellor said while the right decision for many charities is to close and furlough staff, the package is designed to keep charities open whose service remains vital throughout the epidemic.

Click here to read the story in full.

5pm - Chancellor Rishi Sunak gives today's press briefing

A total of 938 people have died from coronavirus in the UK in the past 24 hours, the Department of Health has said.

The newly-released figures bring the total number of deaths to 7,097.

Across the UK, 5,492 new cases have been recorded, bringing the total number of UK cases to 60,733.

More here.

4.47pm - Plymouth volunteers deliver shopping to elderly

Age UK Plymouth is co-ordinating a huge volunteer effort. Credit: ITV News

An army of volunteers is providing a 'lifeline' to people who may be stuck indoors and unable to get their shopping during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Age UK in Plymouth is co-ordinating the project which sees people packing up essential grocery supplies, which are then delivered across the city to vulnerable or elderly people.

Click here to read the story in full.

4.10pm - Take our West Country webcam tour

A webcam view. Credit: Aspects Holidays

You may not be able to visit the superb sights of the West Country right now but you can get a glimpse of some through the wonder of webcams.

From Wiltshire to the Isles of Scilly choose your destination and watch the world go by – from the comfort and safety of your home…

Click here to take the tour.

3.35pm - Adventure duo's lockdown advice

Trying to keep active, or stay upbeat during the lockdown?

Watch the video above for some top tips from Gloucester's adventure duo Jamie McDonald and Anna McNuff!

Or click here to read their story - and advice - in full.

2.45pm - Prime Minister 'not working' while in intensive care

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Shehab Khan

Boris Johnson is "responding to treatment" for coronavirus while in intensive care and is no longer working, his official spokesman has said.

The prime minister, who was admitted to London's St Thomas’ Hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) on Monday evening, is "clinically stable" and in "good spirits" the spokesman added.

The PM continues to receive “standard oxygen treatment” and is “breathing without any other assistance”, he said.

He confirmed the prime minister was no longer working, despite his desire to lead the country's response to coronavirus, even from hospital.

Click here for the full story.

2.07pm - Police warning to bank holiday weekend holidaymakers

Police officers have urged people to stay indoors over the bank holiday weekend. Credit: PA

Holidaymakers and second home owners caught travelling to the South West for the Easter bank holiday weekend will be fined and refused entry, police have warned.

Devon and Cornwall Police say officers will be patrolling major roads across the region to ensure the Government’s lockdown measures are followed.

More on this story here.

1.47pm - Delays to start of Bristol's Clear Air Zone

The start of Bristol’s controversial Clean Air Zone has been pushed back.

It was due to begin in April 2021, but Mayor Marvin Rees announced the postponement earlier today.

A revised start date has not yet been proposed.

We will have more on this story as the day progresses.

1.25pm - West Country councils report rise in fly-tipping

Councils across the West Country have reported a rise in fly-tipping. Credit: ITV News West Country

Councils across the West Country are facing some of their biggest waste management challenges since the outbreak of coronavirus.

Many local authorities have seen a rise in the number of fly tipping incidents since household recycling centres were shut.

Others are seeing a reduction in the number of people able to collect our waste because they are in isolation.

Click here to read the full story.

12.53pm - Work begins on Bristol's NHS Nightingale hospital

The first picture of a Nightingale hospital being built in Bristol for coronavirus patients has been shared.

A building at the University of West England building is currently being transformed into a health centre, which will have up to 1,000 beds.

It will be staffed by NHS workers including student nurses, medical students and former doctors and other workers who have come out of retirement to help.

Deputy leader of North Somerset Council, Mike Bell, tweeted the picture above of how the hospital is shaping up.

You can read more on Bristol's Nightingale hospital here.

12.14pm - Coronavirus survivor: 'I could hardly breathe!'

A coronavirus survivor from Cheltenham has described what it is like to suffer from the disease after spending three weeks in hospital.

Photographer Jules Annan spent three weeks in the town's General Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

He was on oxygen in the high dependency unit and is now recovering on a ward, from where he recorded the video above for ITV News West Country.

Click here to read Jules' account in full.

11.35am - Cornwall businesses receive £116million grant funding

Many businesses have had to close as a result of the Government's lockdown measures. Credit: PA

Around 10,000 businesses across Cornwall have received a total of £116m in grant funding to help cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A further 3,500 businesses have applied to Cornwall Council within the last three days for a business support grant – a fund set up by the Government and administered by the Council. 

Over the coming weeks the Council expects to pay out around £281m to 24,000 small businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry.

10.14am - Still too early to ease lockdown measures, ministers warn

Lockdown rules have been in place for more than two weeks. Credit: PA

Ministers have cautioned it is still too soon to begin lifting the coronavirus lockdown, after Boris Johnson spent a second night in intensive care undergoing treatment for the disease.

The Prime Minister’s condition remains “stable”, according to the latest bulletin from Downing Street issued on Tuesday evening.

You can read this story in full by clicking here.


5:30pm - Community hospital gives resources to fight against coronavirus

Credit: Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

Tewkesbury Community Hospital is to be used to support Gloucestershirepatients with coronavirus.

The hospital’s 30 beds will provide quality care for patients transferred from Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as well as the local community.

Patients who have been recently cared for at the hospital have been discharged into other care environments.

Other services previously provided at Tewkesbury Hospital, such as the Minor Injury and Illness Unit and day case surgery, have been temporarily suspended.

4:30pm - Village neighbouring Johnson family send well wishes to Prime Minister

Residents of the village which neighbours Boris Johnson’s family farm on Exmoor have sent their good wishes to the Prime Minister as he remains in intensive care for coronavirus.

The Johnson’s own a 500 acre farm in Nethercote.

The nearby village of Winsford has a strong connection to the family and ITV News understands some of them, including the Prime Minister’s father Stanley, are staying there during the lockdown.

Colin Wilkins, chair of Winsford Parish Council, said: “On behalf of all the parishioners of Winsford we would like to wish the Prime Minister with all our good thoughts and our best wishes and thoughts through this very difficult time."

3:00pm - First coffee shop 'drive thru' blood testing facility in the UK opens in the West Country

Simon Edwards and Alan Paver, of Cornish Pirates RFC, assisting at the clinic. Credit: Cornwall Live/BPM Media

A coffee shop in Cornwall has become the UK's first to offer a drive-through blood test clinic.

The Costa Coffee store in Penzance started offering the service after a request from a St Clare Medical Centre GP, to make sure people who need regular blood tests can still get them while social distancing regulations are in place.

Another unique trait of the new drive-through service is the security guards - who happen to be Cornish Pirates rugby players.

2:30pm - Latest coronavirus statistics from NHS England

The newest information from NHS England has revealed that sadly another 36 people in the West Country have died from COVID-19.

This brings the total number of deaths in the South West to 286.

1:00pm - Council launches campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse services

Credit: PA

Safer Cornwall has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the increased risks of domestic abuse during coronavirus lockdown.

The Council recognises the challenges of providing adequate support, with face-to-face meetings unavailable and victims spending an increased amount of time with their abusers.

12:45pm - Business owners and holidaymakers reminded of lockdown rules in lead up to Easter

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards is reminding owners of guest houses, campsites and restaurants to remain closed this Easter to help combat coronavirus.

With very few exceptions, all hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding houses should be closed until further notice.

Restaurants, public houses, wine bars, cafes, canteens and other food and drink establishments must also close unless they are providing food for takeaway or delivery only.

Holidaymakers are also reminded that visiting the West Country for leisure is not regarded as essential travel and they risk receiving a fine from the Police.

12:30pm - £116 million in grants already given to businesses in Cornwall

Credit: Cornwall Council

Around 10,000 businesses across Cornwall have received a total of £116m in grant funding to help cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

 A further 3,500 businesses have applied to Cornwall Council within the last three days for a business support grant – a fund set up by the Government and administered by the Council.   

 Over the coming weeks the Council expects to pay out around £281m to 24,000 small businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry. 

12:00pm - Woman jailed for 'spitting blood' at police officer

Credit: PA

A 42 year old woman has been jailed for spitting in the face of a police officer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judith Zoe Christopher admitted assaulting a police officer in Sidwell Street, Exeter, Devon, on Friday [April 3].

Exeter magistrates court was told 'during the time of Covid-19' she spat in the face of an officer 'which contained blood'.

Christopher, who has no fixed abode, also admitted being drunk and disorderly and she was jailed for a total of 26 weeks.

She was also ordered to pay the officer £100 compensation.

11:30am - Fire services warn against deliberate fires

Credit: AF&RS

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know