Co-op to stop accepting loyalty card and handing out charity tokens
The East of England Co-operative have announced a series of changes to how they operate their food stores to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The group, based in Ipswich and with stores across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk said it would be no longer accepting member reward cards to avoid handling them, but advised customers to keep receipts to add the points at a later date.
Stores will also no longer hand out green tokens, which go in the charity-of-your-choice boxes.
In line with many other supermarket the Co-op will also be installing screens at checkouts and have signs on the floor to keep shoppers 2m (6ft 6in) apart.
English Heritage open up sites online
BBC Local Live
If you're missing being able to get out and about to some of the region's interesting historic sites, then English Heritage can bring some of them to you - online.
It has highlighted 30 of its buildings,
monuments and sites across the country available to visit online - including a few in the East of England.
Last week, the organisation took the decision to close all its staffed historic sites and cancel all public events.
Curatorial director Anna Eavis said: "We look forward to welcoming visitors back to those sites as soon as it is safe to do so, but until then we hope these online experiences will allow people an escape, and the chance to learn something new."
Sharing countryside beauty during self-isolation
A photographer is sharing his images on social media in a bid to help those self-isolating "see the beauty of the countryside".
What plants and animals can we expect to see at the moment? And how can we help everything flourish?
Advertising slump 'threat' to EDP and Evening News
A drop in advertising revenue resulting from the coronavirus lockdown has put a major newspaper group's future in jeopardy, a senior manager has warned.
Tim Youngman, the head of marketing for Archant - which publishes the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, said the lack of advertising was a "threat".
"We are a mainly advertising-funded business and if we don't get that advertising revenue unfortunately the future looks bleak not just for us but for newspapers," he said.
"We want to support those local businesses that are forced to close but are also asking larger businesses not in jeopardy to continue to support us."
He said newspapers were playing a key role in supporting the community during the coronavirus lockdown.
Cheers all round as the East says thanks to NHS
There was clapping, cheering, pots clanging and car horns honking as people across the East of England gave their thanks to the NHS.
Many people took part in the social media campaign on Thursday night, where people across the UK applauded the work of the health service treating coronavirus patients.
'Thank you NHS'
Oscar's been using his time off to create a masterpiece thanking the NHS for all their hard work.
The ambulance service were definitely impressed by his artistic talent.
A nursery rhyme singalong by staff at a Norfolk library has proved an online hit with parents and children around the UK.
A rousing performance of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes; Five Little Monkeys; Wind the Bobbin Up and other pre-school favourites was broadcast on Facebook on Tuesday morning. The video has since racked up more than 20,000 views online.
Librarians Adam and Hannah, who host weekly singalongs at Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, said: "We know you can't come to us, so we're bringing our Bounce and Rhyme to you."
A mum from Surrey commented: "Thank you for making us giggle and providing some happiness during this crazy time."
"Loving this from Somerset," said another. Others tuned in from Wales and Scotland.
The library is also providing a daily storytime online and a weekly Lego club.
Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities at Norfolk County Council, said: “We’ve
even had viewers logging on from other parts of the country and the response so
far has been wonderful, showing just how brilliant and well-loved these
Beginning this Saturday, March 28, and running for two weeks, participants are encouraged to post pictures of their dumpling-making attempts on social media, with the chance to win the ultimate prize – the Crystal Dumpling.
Coronavirus: 'The beauty of the outside remains'
With the government's request for us to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, many people are now missing the opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors.
On the morning before the government announced its new guidelines resulting in the closure of many nature reserves, BBC Look East cameraman Shaun Whitmore was at Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk.
Here he shares his last trip to the reserve for a while.
Video shows police removing councillor Joanne Rust from a swimming pool in Tenerife.
Staff shortages could affect fruit and veg from the East
The Country Land and Business Association has warned of staff shortages in the farming sector across the East of England due to coronavirus.
If farmers could not find the workers they needed, it could lead to a shortage of fruit and vegetables, it said.
Cath Crowther from the association said: "There are staff shortages because of travel restrictions and illness which could impact on fruit and vegetable supply going forward."
She also said that those farms that had diversified into leisure and tourism were also suffering, and that those with cafes were trying to "redirect" their supplies.
Ambulance trust 'could not be prouder' of staff and volunteers
East of England Ambulance NHS Trust has praised on Twitter the "incredible" work its staff and volunteers are doing across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.
The trust said it wanted to "dedicate #ThankYouThursday" to all those "working incredibly hard around the clock to make sure that our patients remain safe and get help when they need it the most. We couldn't be prouder to call you #TeamEEAST."
Five more coronavirus deaths reported in the East
Five more deaths from coronavirus were recorded in the East of England on Wednesday evening.
Four people died in hospitals run by the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, and a fifth was reported at the West Suffolk Hospital.
They were among 28 people nationally whose deaths after testing positive for coronavirus were announced on Wednesday.
Here are the latest numbers of positive cases recorded in our region:
Pember said: "In view of the present COVID-19 situation it is with
regret that I need to inform you that all inquests listed between now
and 1 September have been suspended until further notice."I
will review the situation on 31 July."
inquests due to be heard at Buckinghamshire Coroner's Court until Monday, 27 April have been postponed and will be
Domestic and child sexual abuse could increase due to coronavirus forcing people to stay indoors, Norfolk's police chief has warned.
He told BBC Radio Norfolk he feared the UK-wide lockdown could lead to the "exploitation of vulnerable people".
Mr Bailey said people in safeguarding jobs had a duty to be "professionally curious", but that society as a whole had a responsibility.
"If we all pull together... we'll come through it," he said.
People acting 'as if threat from coronavirus didn’t exist' says top cop
constables have issued strongly-worded statements calling on communities to comply with new government rules restricting people’s movements to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Steve Jupp (below), who
heads Suffolk Police, said: "The moves so far to limit social distancing have not had the necessary effect, with some people still going about their business as if the threat from coronavirus didn’t exist.
"It has to stop.”
He said officers would negotiate with people seen to be flouting the new rules before resorting to the law.
Norfolk's chief constable Simon Bailey (below) said he was staggered to hear holiday resorts had been full of people over the weekend.
gatherings of more than two people who do not live together should stop, the government said, and shops selling non-essential items have been asked to close.
has been introduced giving police powers to enforce the new rules.
Mr Bailey said: "Officers
will continue to be out in their communities, speaking to people as
we always do and taking the opportunity to explain the new rules and
ask what people are doing and why they are out."
Hertfordshire Police and
Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: "If the public do not comply
with this lockdown the police will use their powers to enforce it, and have my
full support in that."
Scientists at the University of East Anglia are making the gel for a hospital and local council.
And what about self-isolation?
Self-isolating means staying at home and not leaving it, other than for exercise. Don't go to work, school or public areas during this time, is the government's advice.
If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. If you are unable to get supplies delivered, you should do what you can to limit social contact when you do leave the house.
Who should self-isolate?
Everyone who shows coronavirus symptoms - a fever of above 37.8C, a persistent cough or breathing problem - and everyone who lives in the same house or flat as someone with symptoms.
If you live alone, you must stay at home for seven days from the day symptoms start
If someone you live with develop symptoms, they must isolate for seven days and the rest of the household needs to isolate for 14 days and monitor for signs of COVID-19
If someone else does become ill during that period, their seven-day isolation starts that day. For example, it might run from day three to day 10 - when that person's isolation would then end. It would not restart if another member of the household fell ill
But anyone who fell ill on day 13 would see their seven-day isolation begin then - for their illness rather than to monitor for symptoms - meaning they would spend a total of 20 days at home
Recycling centres close
To ensure the safety of staff and customers, household recycling centres across the region are now closed.
A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: "In
accordance with current government Coronavirus guidelines of avoiding
non-essential contact and preventing a risk of infection to others, the sites
"It is essential that we do all we can to slow down the spread of
Here is a breakdown of each council so you can access their information directly:
The University of East Anglia has started to produce hand sanitiser after a request from Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and the county council.
Staff used empty teaching labs to make the alcohol-based sanitiser after they were informed of a shortage of supply.
Professor Mark Searcey, pro-vice chancellor for science and the university, said the team made their first batch in about an hour and appealed for anyone who could help with provisions of ethanol or isopropanol and bottling the sanitiser to get in touch.