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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....

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe disruption, at J21 for M69.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M1 northbound at J21, M69 (Leicester), because of debris on the road.

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

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

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.

Download festival cancelled over coronavirus fears

Neil Heath

BBC News Online

This year's Download festival will not take place following the coronavirus outbreak.

About 80,000 people usually attend the event, held at Castle Donington, in Leicestershire, and is dubbed one of the biggest rock festivals in Europe.

Organisers said they were "beyond disappointed" and apologised to those who were due to arrive at the site between 12 and 14 June.

Music lovers at Download
Matt Eachus / Download

In a statement it was promised Download will return in 2021 and they will do their best to secure an "amazing line-up".

Ticket holders will be contacted over whether they want a refund or retain them for next year.

Knife Angel sculpture visit postponed

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

The Knife Angel sculpture, made from 100,000 confiscated or surrendered weapons, will no longer visit Leicester in May.

The city's cathedral, which was due to host the sculpture, said the visit has been postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Knife Angel sculpture
PA Media

The sculpture has been called a "monument against violence and aggression" by its creator and huge numbers of visitors were expected to visit it.

Reverend Alison Adams, Sub-Dean of the cathedral said: “We are deeply disappointed to have to take this decision.

"We are hopeful that we can secure bringing the Knife Angel to Leicester in the future."

Severe accident: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe accident, at J21 for M69.

M1 Leicestershire - M1 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J21, M69 (Leicester), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

'Tsunami is coming': NHS staff urge people to stay at home

Sonia Kataria

BBC News

NHS staff across the East Midlands have pleaded for people to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Clare Halford, 47, an operating department practitioner at Leicester General Hospital, said she wanted people "to realise staying at home will save lives".

"I feel utterly frustrated and angry when I see people out," she said.

"We don't want to be Italy, but we know the tsunami is coming.”

Staff at Leicester General Hospital plea for people to stay at home
Clare Halford

Ms Halford, who is asthmatic, said after finishing 12-hour night shifts, she has to distance herself from her family at home.

"I'm not going to see my daughter on her 21st birthday as she lives away," she said.

"It's heartbreaking."

She added she goes to work "feeling scared", but her management team was "amazing".

Clare Halford at Leicester General Hospital
Clare Halford

Staff at Royal Derby Hospital have also taken photographs holding up signs asking people to stay at home, like the children's emergency department team here.

Staff from the Royal Derby's Children's Emergency Department
Royal Derby Hospital

The recovery intensive care nurses at the hospital also joined in.

In a post on Twitter, they told everyone to stay safe and said "this is one of their 'five moments of happiness'."

Staff at Royal Derby Hospital
Kam Gibbons

Coronavirus pandemic: Region sees five more deaths

Samantha Noble

BBC News Online

There have been five more reported deaths of people with coronavirus in the East Midlands, the NHS has confirmed.

On Tuesday, one death was reported by Nottingham University Hospitals from the previous day, bringing its total to six and the University Hospitals of Leicester confirmed it saw four more deaths on Monday, bringing its total to six.

The Department of Health said the total number of deaths in the UK had risen by 87 up to a total of 422.

Leicester Royal Infirmary
PA Wire

A spokesman for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said the four patients who had died all had underlying health conditions.

He said: "A man and a woman in their 70s and a man in his 80s died at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. They had tested positive for Covid-19.

"A man in his 80s died at Glenfield Hospital, and had also tested positive for Covid-19."

Dr Keith Girling, from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said a 67-year-old patient with an underlying health condition who was being cared for at the Queen's Medical Centre died on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19.

Severe accident: M1 Leicestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire southbound severe accident, from J22 for A50 Coalville to J21 for M69.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed and it's slow on M1 southbound from J22, A50 (Coalville) to J21, M69 (Leicester), because of an accident.

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

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

Fire causes 'substantial damage' to Leicester gym

Alex Regan

BBC News

Police are looking for witnesses after a Leicester gym was hit by a fire on Sunday morning.

Emergency services were called to Fitness Factory in Temple Road just before 05:40.

A "number of windows" had been smashed and a fire was discovered in the gym.

No-one was injured but "substantial damage" was caused to gym equipment.

Leicestershire Police believe two men were seen "acting suspiciously" before the blaze.

The fire service said an investigation into the cause is under way.

Fitness Factory
Google

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
Coronavirus: Leicestershire laughter yoga helping to cheer self-isolated
Sharon De Caesteker has moved the weekly sessions online, so the group can still meet.

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe disruption, from J20 for A4304 Lutterworth Road to J21 for M69.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M1 northbound from J20, A4304 (Lutterworth) to J21, M69 (Leicester), because of a vehicle on fire. Traffic is coping well.

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

Coronavirus: More deaths in the East Midlands confirmed

David Pittam

BBC News Online

Two men have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

A 91-year-old man with an underlying health condition died at the Queen's Medical Centre on Wednesday.

The other man, who died at the Leicester Royal Infirmary on Wednesday, was in his 80s and had underlying health conditions.

The death toll for the region now stands at five, with three deaths confirmed by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and two by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

The total number of confirmed deaths in England due to the virus is now 167.

QMC
Google

Space centre donates cafe food to charity

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

The UK National Space Centre, that has temporarily closed to the public, is donating food from its cafe to Leicester charity Action Homeless.

Food donations
National Space Centre

The attraction closed on Wednesday to protect the public and staff from the spread of coronavirus.

University of Leicester to close early

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

The University of Leicester is to temporarily close from 17:00 on Friday, bringing the end of term forward by one week.

The university said this was to "protect and support all students and colleagues" during the coronavirus outbreak.

University of Leicester
Google

Students have been advised to return home if possible - those unable to will be supported at university accommodation.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe disruption, from J21A for A46 Leicester North to J22 for A50 Coalville.

M1 Leicestershire - Two lanes closed and it's slow on M1 northbound from J21a, A46 (Leicester North) to J22, A50 (Coalville), because of a vehicle on fire.

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

Space centre ‘saddened’ by closure

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

The UK National Space Centre is to close for more than a month “with a focus on the safety of staff and visitors”.

The space centre
BBC

The Leicester attraction is anticipating it will reopen on 1 May.

In a statement it said it was “saddened” not to be able to welcome visitors but that it would be providing digital content on its website.

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.

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

Six patients treated for coronavirus in Leicester

Amy Orton

Local Democracy Reporter

Six patients with confirmed coronavirus are being treated at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, it has been confirmed.

The cases are in addition to a man, in his 80s, who died from coronavirus at Leicester Royal Infirmary last Thursday.

Leicester Royal Infirmary
PA Media

The trust did not confirm which hospitals the patients were being treated at or what wards they were on.

In a statement, the trust said: "Every infection prevention precaution is being taken to protect patients and staff.

"The staff caring for the patients are trained and equipped to do so safely.”

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe disruption, between J20 for A4304 Lutterworth Road and J21 for M69.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M1 northbound between J20, A4304 (Lutterworth) and J21, M69 (Leicester), 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

Staff shortage shuts Leicester school

Sandish Shoker

BBC News

The City of Leicester College has been closed to all students today because of insufficient staff.

In a letter to parents, head teacher Anne Gregory said the staffing situation would be reviewed next week but it was likely the school would remain closed until after the Easter holiday.

She said pupils were still expected to study, with teachers available online setting work for Years 10 and 11 on a daily basis, as well as putting together projects for Years 7, 8 and 9.

City of Leicester College
Google

Kasabian Leicester gig 'could be postponed'

Amy Orton

Local Democracy Reporter

Kasabian's sell-out Summer Solstice gig may be postponed because of coronavirus, the mayor of Leicester has confirmed.

The band are due to play a homecoming gig at Victoria Park on 20 June, with 50,000 fans snapping up the tickets in minutes.

Sir Peter Soulsby said there is "every indication" promoter Live Nation will be postponing it.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has asked Live Nation for an update but has so far not had a response.

Kasabian Leicester gig
BBC

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.