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Live Reporting

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  1. Retailers set to welcome back customers after three months

    Shops in England selling non-essential goods can reopen today for the first time in almost three months.

    john lewis

    While food shops, pharmacies and other essential retailers have been open throughout lockdown, non-essential stores have been locked since 23 March.

    This includes retailers offering clothes, toys, books and electronics - as well as record shops, tailors, auction houses, photography studios and indoor markets.

    The government says they must meet Covid-19 guidelines to keep shoppers and workers safe, but Boris Johnson has urged people to "shop with confidence".

    He said he was "very optimistic" about stores reopening - although acknowledged that retailers did not know whether there will be a "huge wave of customers" or a "trickle".

    Earlier this morning queues were already building outside Primark in Lincoln's High Street, with the first person joining the line at 05:00.

    queue outside primark

    The unlocking comes as face coverings become compulsory when travelling on public transport in England from Monday. Children under the age of 11 will be exempt, and the rules might be waived for people who have a legitimate health reason for not wearing one.

    However, face coverings in shops will not be mandatory, with retailers hoping their introduction of an array of other safety measures will be sufficient.

  2. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A52 Lincolnshire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A52 Lincolnshire both ways severe accident, from Hall Lane to Mill Lane.

    A52 Lincolnshire - A52 in Benington closed in both directions from the Hall Lane junction to the Mill Lane junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  3. Two-metre rule should stay - Lincolnshire health boss

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The 2m rule which is in place to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic should be kept for "as long as we can", Lincolnshire's health boss has said.

    2m rule sign

    MPs are calling for the social distancing rule to be dropped in order to help the economy - asking that it be reduced to 1m.

    However, Professor Derek Ward, Lincolnshire County Council's director of public health, says: "I would like to keep 2m for as long as we can, because my job is to keep people safe.

    "I am absolutely convinced 2m significantly reduces the risk and basically it means that you’re not going to be in close contact. If you get closer you’re increasing your risk."

    The government has been slowly relaxing rules over the past few weeks, with the latest changes allowing single adult households to form "social bubbles" with another single household in a bid to tackle loneliness.

    From Monday, many more non-essential shops will also reopen, while wearing face coverings on public transport will become a requirement.

  4. Schoolgirl's story about a fly picks up prestigious award

    A Lincolnshire schoolgirl has been revealed as the bronze winner in her age category, in the BBC's 500 Words competition.

    Lola Butler

    Lola Butler, who lives in Stamford, wrote a story called 'Shoo' about a fly.

    It was read to millions of listeners during Zoe Ball's BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show this morning.

    Lola says she was surprised to get so far in the competition: "I was speechless, I just couldn't believe it. It's been a rollercoaster."

    BBC 500 Words is one of the most successful short story-writing competitions for children.

    This year's attracted more than 130,000 entries.

  5. In pictures: Fire breaks out Stamford School

    These are the latest pictures from Stamford where a fire broke out in a school building earlier today.

    Lincolnshire Fire & Rescues were called to the Stamford School this afternoon after a blaze started in an upper floor of the Principal’s house.

    In a statement the school said the fire had been contained and no-one was hurt.

    Stamford fire
    Stamford fire
    Stamford fire
  6. Stamford School community 'devastated' by blaze

    Staff at Stamford School have been left "shocked and devastated" by a fire at the site this afternoon.

    Stamford fire

    The school, which is owned and run by Stamford Endowed Schools, was "evacuated immediately" and nobody was hurt in the blaze, the school says.

    About 25 firefighters remain on scene at the school on St Paul's Street and local residents are being warned to keep doors and windows shut.

    In a statement, Stamford Endowed Schools says: "The fire started on an upper floor of the Principal’s house and took hold very quickly.

    "We are extremely grateful to the emergency services for their swift actions this afternoon, which helped to contain the fire and prevented it from doing even more damage."

    The school adds that the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage is still unknown.

    Provision for Year 10 and 12 pupils who are returning to the school on Monday is "unaffected", the school adds.

  7. Large blaze in Stamford town centre

    A large fire's broken out in a school building in Stamford.

    Six fire engines are at the scene of the blaze on St Paul's Steet, in a property belonging to Stamford Endowed Schools.

    In a statement on social media, the school says the building's been safely evacuated.

  8. Lockdown breach fines on the decline in Lincolnshire

    The number of coronavirus lockdown fines issued by Lincolnshire Police has slowed considerably since restrictions were first eased last month, it's emerged.

    people and a police car in a park

    Since 25 May, the force has handed out 12 fines. In contrast, 232 fines were issued between 27 March and 8 June.

    Lincolnshire's Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson said: “We have always adopted the four E’s approach, and our officers will engage, explain and encourage first - with enforcement only ever used as the last option."

    The fine for breaching coronavirus regulations is £100, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days.

  9. Red Arrows past and present to feature in Armchair Airshow

    Six current and former pilots from the world famous Lincolnshire-based RAF aerobatic team the Red Arrows are set to take part in a so-called "Armchair Airshow".

    Mike Ling

    Current Sqn Ldr Martin Pert, Mike Ling (pictured), who's the Red Arrows' longest-serving pilot, and Henry Prince, who was one of the original members of the RAF's Aerobatic Team when it launched in 1965, will all take part.

    The event, which takes place online on 20 June, will feature all six pilots providing commentary on in-cockpit footage from Red Arrows displays.

    They'll also discuss the history of the squadron and talk about what it means to be part of the world famous team, which is based at RAF Scampton.

    The Armchair Airshow has been organised by the Aerobility charity.

  10. Burglars pose as Covid-19 cleaners to steal £5,000

    Two men posing as cleaners stole £5,000 in cash from an elderly woman after forcing their way into her home after telling her they had received a report of Covid-19 at the property.

    Heathlea in Scothern

    The incident happened at about 16.40 on Thursday at an address in Heathlea, Scothern.

    Lincolnshire Police said the men told the woman, who's in her 80s, they had come to clean her home before pushing past her and stealing a handbag and about £5,000 in cash.

    The force has appealed for anyone who saw two men acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the burglary to come forward.

  11. Government urged to share more coronavirus data

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Health bosses in Lincolnshire are calling for more data to be released by central government in order to help them respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Motorist being tested

    Professor Derek Ward, director of public health for Lincolnshire, says although weekly figures for the Lincolnshire Showground testing site are released by Public Health England, some national data isn’t filtered down to local level, including details of where contact tracing takes place.

    Professor Ward says: "There’s a really strong argument to say that, absolutely, while central government needs to have a view right the way across the country, people in London aren’t going to know and be able to manage the situation here as well as people in Lincolnshire."

    Health bosses currently build their picture from figures around daily hospital and care home testing, antibody testing and the Office for National Statistics.

    GPs are also set to begin receiving details of test and trace contacts.

    However, Professor Ward says his team currently relies on regional colleagues calling them on an ad hoc basis about cases escalated to the top tier.

    “We only find out about it when they pick up the phone and tell us. That, to me, is a single point of failure risk," he adds.

  12. 'I had no one to help me'

    Mariam Issimdar

    BBC News

    One person who will be making use of the "social bubble" rule is learning disabilities and mental health support worker team leader, Cath Donnelly, from Leeds.

    Ms Donnelly is planning to "bubble-up" with her boyfriend and his daughter who live in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

    The single parent of two boys said: "It's just been me and boys since we went into lockdown. Usually I would have a lot of help from my parents but can't with lockdown and can't use them for a bubble because my mum is shielding."

    Cath Donnelly, Lucas and Oliver

    Her children have seen their father a couple of times, for a couple of hours outdoors, but cannot meet inside as he has a son who is vulnerable.

    One of the hardest points for Ms Donnelly was "probably when I fell flat on my face and broke my nose, had concussion and bruised my jaw".

    "I had had no one to help me with the boys and obviously they're too young to understand. So it was hard to recover," she said.

    Ms Donnelly said it had been especially hard for her boys not to see their grandparents.

  13. Lincolnshire's Friday weather forecast

    BBC Weather

    A largely cloudy start with the occasional shower and some brighter spells.

    Through the afternoon and evening, showery rain will spread from the south, turning heavy and thundery at times. Warmer.

    Rain will gradually clear to the north during the first half of the night to leave it dry for a time.

    However, during the early hours a band of rain will move in from the east:

    Weather graphic
  14. 'Exciting' council service merger plan scrapped

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Plans for a money-saving backroom merger between two Lincolnshire councils have been scrapped.

    Boston Council building

    Last month, East Lindsey District Council and Boston Borough Council unveiled a scheme to share services in a bid to save local taxpayers over £15m over 10 years.

    East Lindsey councillors had approved the plan, with council leader Craig Leyland saying it was an "exciting opportunity for both councils".

    But councillors in Boston have now rejected the idea.

    Boston councillor Neil Hastie said he was not against the alliance but there had been more questions than answers. He called for more consultation to be carried out.

    Responding to the vote, Councillor Leyland asked Boston's councillors to "think seriously about what they've done".

    The move has also been criticised as "profoundly short-sighted" by Boston and Skegness Conservative MP Matt Warman.

    He called on Boston's councillors to reconsider their decision "as soon as possible".

  15. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M180 Lincolnshire eastbound

    BBC News Travel

    M180 Lincolnshire eastbound severe disruption, between J4 for A15 and J5 for A18.

    M180 Lincolnshire - One lane closed on M180 eastbound between J4, A15 (Scawby) and J5, A18 (Barnetby Top), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time