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Watch: East Midlands makes a noise to say thanks to NHS

Thousands of people across the East Midlands stepped out of their homes on Thursday night to applaud NHS workers and carers working during the coronavirus pandemic.

The result was emotional....

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

BBC Weather

It's set to be another sunny day, but a little bit chillier - and temperatures are set to drop further for the weekend.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Snake pass shisha session stopped by officers

Neil Heath

BBC News Online

Images have emerged showing a group of people enjoying picnics, kebabs and smoking shisha pipes during the coronavirus lockdown.

Derbyshire Police officers said they broke up the gathering at Snake Pass in the Peak District on Thursday.

People who had travelled from Manchester, Sheffield and as far as Ipswich, were "dispersed with no resistance" and reminded that they had not been practicing "social distancing" and should be at home.

Group smoking shisha pipes
Derbyshire Police

Officers have been busy in the national park as the warm weather has brought more visitors to the area.

However, they have been at pains to remind people they should be "staying at home" in line with government advice.

On Sunday, a farmer in Edale said he was attacked by a walker after he challenged him about social distancing.

Police car amid vehicles in the Peak District
Derbyshire Police

Coronavirus: Appeal for former professional signallers

Samantha Noble

BBC News Online

Former professional signallers in the East Midlands are being asked to return to the railways to keep the network running during the coronavirus crisis.

Network Rail is keeping signal boxes and control centres across the region open 24/7 so railway services can continue running.

Chris Gee, from Network Rail, said: “We are working hard to keep vital services in place as these get key workers to their jobs and keep food and medical supplies across the country moving.

“We are appealing for signallers who’ve retired, moved on to other careers at Network Rail or left the railway to come back and help us keep signal boxes and control centres open."

Network Rail appeal for former signallers
Network Rail

He said signallers were "crucial to keep the railway open" and they need former workers to provide back-up if staff can’t come to work.

"Full re-training will be given," he said.

The roles will be in the East Midlands Control Centre and at signal boxes across the region.

Sightseers continue to 'ignore' coronavirus restrictions

Neil Heath

BBC News Online

Notes have been left on cars parked at a beauty spot in the Peak District urging people to stay at home following government restrictions.

Bakewell Police shared pictures on Twitter of a line of vehicles parked near Monsal Head, in Derbyshire.

Note left on car at Monsal Head
Bakewell Police

Officers also found letters "left by a local" on the vehicles that said: "Travelling to beauty spots is not essential travel. Stay safe stay home."

Officers tweeted: "Once again in the Peak District people are ignoring government restrictions.

"It isn't essential travel to come from Sheffield to Derbyshire to exercise.

"Restrictions are for a reason."

On Monday, Boris Johnson said people should leave home only to exercise once a day and travel to and from work where "absolutely necessary".

Line of cars at Monsal Head
Bakewell Police

Workers 'disappointed' over Sports Direct U-turn

PA Media

Shirebrook-based Sports Direct performed a U-turn this morning on keeping its shops open during the coronavirus lockdown following a backlash over its proposals.

The retailer initially said it would remain open as it was "uniquely well-placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible".

But it now says it will not open "until we are given the go-ahead by the government".

Sports Direct's initial plan to stay open drew widespread criticism on social media and from employees, who told the PA news agency they feel "disappointed".

Sports Direct
Getty Images

A worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said they have worked at the company since they were 16 and now have a young family.

"I cuddled a scared and confused five-year-old to bed last night knowing that his mum and dad could risk potentially bringing in the virus for the sake of some fitness equipment," they said.

"I am disappointed (the announcement to close stores to the public) has not come from the company itself and am worried they find another loophole to continue us working. I have had no contact from them as of yet."

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

BBC Weather

The first day of a nationwide lockdown is going to be sunny and warm...

In fact the next few days are all looking pleasant, while the weekend is expected to be a little colder and cloudier.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Police warn of coronavirus scam text

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

Police are warning of a coronavirus-related scam that tries to trick people into thinking they are owed money.

Screenshot of coronavirus scam message
Derbyshire Police

Officers running a Facebook page for the Clay Cross area of Derbyshire said: "Beware of these sorts of messages. Scammers never have a day off."

They said after clicking on the link, you're asked to give your bank details and passport information along with other personal details.

Spondon Post Office reopening postponed

Samantha Noble

BBC News Online

The reopening of a village post office has been delayed as the trainer due to open the branch is self-isolating.

Spondon Post Office in Derby has been closed for more than a year after it was blown up by cash machine thieves.

About £70,000 was stolen when gas was used to cause an explosion at the business in Chapel Street in October 2018.

Spondon Post Office after the explosion
BBC

The Post Office said it was trying to find another trainer.

The branch was due to open at a new location at 13:00 today.

During the post office's closure, the village has been served by a mobile postal service twice a week.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

BBC Weather

It's set to be a dry and largely sunny few days - although temperatures could drop to freezing overnight in some areas.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Anna Church

Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

It will be a chilly start, then lots of sun but with a persistent cold wind.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands
The government has advised people over the age of 70 to follow social distancing measures.
The government has advised people over the age of 70 to follow social distancing measures.

Catholic church to stop public mass

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

Public mass at Catholic churches in the East Midlands will no longer take place from Friday due to the spread of coronavirus.

The Diocese of Nottingham - covering Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland - has stopped services.

Churches will however remain open and private masses can still take place.

Nottingham cathedral
Google

Cardinal Vincent of Westminster is encouraging worshippers to pray from home instead.

“Let’s learn how to pray in the rhythm of the church in a new way for a while,” he said.

In a video message posted on the diocese website he also calls on people to “stick together” and help those more vulnerable.

Students allowed home as schools partially close

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

Highfields School in Matlock is among the many schools partially closing "in line with government advice".

The closure will start tomorrow and last until further notice.

Vulnerable students and pupils with parents that are "key workers" will still be able to attend school.

Highfields School
Google

From 10:00 on Thursday, students in Year 11, 12 and 13 have been given the option to stay on the school site or work from home.

Students in Year 7 are being told to remain in school until the end of the day.

Glossopdale School in Glossop has had to close for students in Year 7, 8 and 9 due to staffing shortages.

The school said this is as a result of coronavirus.

Students in Year 11,12 and 13 are still able to attend classes, while year 10 students are not affected as they are on work experience this week.

East Midlands music festivals going ahead 'as planned'

Neil Heath

BBC News Online

Music lovers have been left wondering whether festivals across the East Midlands will take place following the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, the organisers of Glastonbury, which was due to start on 24 June, decided to cancel the festival following government advice to avoid mass gatherings.

So where does it leave the big music events due to take place in our region?

The Dot to Dot festival, which is scheduled for 24 May in various indoor venues across Nottingham, said they are monitoring the situation "very closely" and will make decisions based on relevant advice

Music fans at Download
Download

Glastobudget, which is held in Wymeswold, Leicestershire, is still going ahead as planned on the same weekend.

Bearded Theory, set to take place on 21 May in Derbyshire, has an alternative date in September should the spread of coronavirus force them to cancel.

Download, one of the biggest rock festivals in Europe, is also still happening as things stand at Donington Park on 12 June.

The Y Not festival, which has been going for 14 years in the heart of the Peak District, is also still on for 24 to 26 July.

The same goes for Bloodstock, in Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, in August.

In all cases, the best advice is to keep an eye on each festival's social media channels.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Anna Church

Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

It will be a cloudy and damp day with some showers around but it's likely to settle down in the coming days.

Here's the full forecast...

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Airline reduces flights to East Midlands Airport

Sandish Shoker

BBC News

Scotland's airline Loganair which flies to East Midlands Airport has announced a further drop in the number of flights.

It has blamed "the increasing impact of the coronavirus" as bookings continue to fall dramatically.

Flights from Edinburgh to the East Midlands have been reduced to two flights per day which will stay in place until the end of May.

Loganair plane
Loganair

Chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said the "situation has worsened materially in the last four days" and bookings had fallen by 75%.

He said customers booked on flights up to the end of May can change their reservation to a future date without a fee. However, if future flights are more expensive, the difference in fare will be payable.

Where services are completely suspended a full refund will be applicable.

Coronavirus: More East Midlands school closures announced

Sandish Shoker

BBC News

More schools in the region are announcing full or partial closures due to the coronavirus outbreak today.

Empty school
Getty Images

Here are the latest we know about for today:

New Mills School in High Peak, Derbyshire is only open to Years 7 and 11 today.

Queen Elizabeths Grammar School Ashbourne Academy has closed for Year 9 pupils because of staff shortages. Other year groups have been told to attend as normal.

Glossopdale School in Glossop has closed for students in Years 7, 8, and 9 because of staff shortages.

Matlock Bath Holy Trinity Primary Schoolhas closed to all pupils because of staffing issues.

Glebelands Primary School in Leicester is fully closed today for a deep clean but plans to re-open tomorrow.

Chesterfield secondary school closed to younger pupils

Alex Regan

BBC News

Parkside Community School in Chesterfield will be closed to KS3 students - ages 11 to 14 - due to "staff who will not be able to come to school" as they are self-isolating.

The school will remain open to year 10 and 11 students.

More East Midlands theatres close over coronavirus

Alex Regan

BBC News

Nottingham's Playhouse, the city's Broadway cinema, Leicester's De Montfort Hall and the Derby Theatre are among the latest venues to close their doors to audiences amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Playhouse has deferred a run of the play Private Peaceful, and will offer refunds, but is asking for donations as ticket sales count for "70% of our income".

The Derby Theatre has cancelled performances of Crongton Knights for the week.

Leicester Haymarket Theatre
Leicester Haymarket Theatre

Leicester's De Montfort Hall has rescheduled all its shows until later in the year, with a show from comedian Rhod Gilbert among the performances to be moved. The Curve had already announced a similar move.

Nottingham's Broadway Cinema will close from 18:00 while the city's Theatre Royal had already announced its intention to shut its doors during the outbreak.

Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena is the latest to reschedule concerts. The 10,000-capacity venue already postponed The Who's concert on 3 April, and has now rescheduled gigs such as Rick Astley's greatest hits tour next month.

View more on twitter

The Leicester Haymarket Theatre has also closed with immediate effect.

The Concordia Theatre in Hinckley has also suspended performances, adding "our volunteers and patrons are our most valuable asset", and the measures have been taken to ensure their safety.

Chatsworth Flower Show joins list of cancelled events

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has cancelled the Chatsworth Flower Show following the latest government advice on coronavirus.

The event was due to take place in Derbyshire between 11 and 14 June.

Chatsworth
Getty Images

It's among seven events to be cancelled by the RHS, including Chelsea Flower Show - cancelled for the first time since World War Two.

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: "Our RHS shows are vitally important platforms for the horticultural industry, and we are especially aware of the impact of cancelling these events on everyone involved.

"We will be doing all we can to help growers and nurseries to sell the plants they will have grown for the cancelled shows."

Buxton Opera House announces temporary closure

Liam Barnes

BBC News

Buxton Opera House has confirmed it's temporarily closing with immediate effect following government advice over the coronavirus outbreak.

The cinema and the Pavilion Arts Centre will also be shut from today, and tickets for all events up to the end of April will automatically be refunded.

Buxton Opera House
Getty Images

As a charity without major public funding, this is likely to be a very difficult time, but our priority has to be the health and wellbeing of our customers, staff and volunteers."

Buxton Opera House

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will be mostly a cloudy and dry day with perhaps a bit of drizzle today.

Here's your full forecast...

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Apple tree grown in space planted in Derbyshire

Sandish Shoker

BBC News

An apple tree which was grown in space has been planted at a new observatory in south Derbyshire.

The Peter Bolas Observatory in Rosliston officially opened at the weekend and will house several pieces of kit for keen astronomers.

To mark the opening, an apple tree sapling - grown from seeds taken into space by astronaut Tim Peake - was planted.

Tim Peak apple tree
Roliston Astronomy Group

Ed Mann, manager of the observatory, said the seeds for the tree were taken by Mr Peake from Isaac Newton's apple tree in Lincolnshire to test how things grow in microgravity.

In six months they turned into eight little saplings and the UK Space Agency had been looking for new homes for them.

Roliston Observatory opening
Roliston Astronomy Group

Public meetings cancelled by police commissioner

Sandish Shoker

BBC News

Derbyshire police and crime commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has cancelled all public meetings until further notice.

Announcing the move, he said the "health of our residents must come first and foremost".

He said he could still be contacted by telephone, email and social media with updates being posted online.

Hardyal Dhindsa
BBC

Coronavirus: Trusts restrict hospital visitors

Neil Heath

BBC News Online

Hospitals across the East Midlands have begun restricting visitors and visiting times to protect vulnerable patients from coronavirus.

Most have now banned children from the wards in order to reduce the risk of people bringing infection into hospital.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs King's Mill Hospital, said there can be no more than two visitors per patient and any under the age of 16.

King's Mill Hospital
Google

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust has also changed their visiting arrangements in a bid to protect staff and patients.

New measures have also come into effect at Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital and Leicester General Hospital.

The trust that runs the hospitals said visiting is now only from 18:00 until 20:00, with no more than two visitors.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has also restricted visiting times.

Police name man found dead in Sandiacre

Alex Regan

BBC News

Police have named a man whose body was found in a house in Sandiacre.

Derbyshire Police were called to the home in Town Street, where they found Matthew Holmes, at 22:00 on 6 March.

Mr Holmes was pronounced dead at the scene.

Matthew Holmes
Derbyshire Police

In a statement, the 32-year-old's family has paid tribute to him, saying he "was so loved by his family".

"We will miss him every second, of every minute, of every day for the rest of our lives until we can be together again," they said.

Derbyshire Police arrested a 42-year-old man at the scene. He has been released pending further investigations.

Surprise arrival outside a Lincoln park

Fast asleep in his mother's arms, this is baby William who arrived into the world in a bit of a hurry!

Mum Nikita called 999 on Tuesday when she realised she wasn't far off giving birth. But William couldn't wait and was delivered by paramedics in the back of an ambulance outside Hartsholme Park.

Baby William and parents Gavin and Nikita
BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Nikita has thanked the paramedics: "I'm just so grateful, from the bottom of my heart. Happy and so thankful."

Nikita is pictured with baby William and partner Gavin

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There's going to be a spring-like mix of sun and showers, and we can expect more wet weather over the weekend.

Today there'll be highs of 10C (50F) and lows of 3C (37F) overnight.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Coronavirus: £1m set aside in Derbyshire

Samantha Noble

BBC News Online

The leader of Derbyshire County Council has said an "initial £1m" will be set aside to help the county deal with coronavirus.

Councillor Barry Lewis said: "It’s clear the impacts on local businesses and residents will be significant. We stand ready to help."

He said further details about the funding will be released later today.

coronavirus advice
BBC

First coronavirus case confirmed in Derby

Gavin Bevis

BBC News

Derby has its first confirmed case of coronavirus, Public Health England has said.

There have been four diagnosed cases in Derbyshire - three in the High Peak area and one in Erewash.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has risen to three in the city and six in the county.

In Leicestershire, there are two confirmed cases of the illness so far, according to Public Health England.

St Peter's Street
Google

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

There'll be some sunshine but some showers also after a blustery night.

There will be highs of 10C (50F) and lows of 3C (37F), feeling chillier than earlier in the week.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands