Cinderford

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Severe disruption: M48 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

M48 Gloucestershire both ways severe disruption, between J1 for A403 and J2 for A466 Wye Valley Link Road.

M48 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M48 Severn Bridge in both directions in Monmouthshire between J1, A403 (Aust) and J2, A466 (Chepstow), because of strong winds. Matrix sign set to 40 mph.

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

Rainbows are not just for kids

Door with rainbows above
South Cary House

South Cary House, a care home in Castle Cary which is part of the Avon care homes group, has been getting in on the rainbows craze.

They decided the 'hope' activity was not just for children!

"The residents have helped with spreading a little happiness to help children and adults spot rainbows on their walks" they said.

"Everyone has really enjoyed this today and feel like they are able to thank everyone and spread a little love in this difficult time."

House with rainbows in windows
South Cary House

Hostel for homeless staying open for now

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A Worcester charity which helps rough sleepers believes it has enough food and cleaning products to keep running for the time being.

St Paul’s Hostel has increased the number of mealtime sittings and removed comfy chairs from communal areas to allow people to keep their distance from one another.

St Paul’s Hostel
St Paul’s Hostel

NOW: Bristol Ferry Company are taking us on a tour - join the ride!

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See Bristol Harbour and its waterways in all their (deserted) glory...

Bristol Ferry Company are giving a free online passenger tour to cheer up everyone's Friday evening isolation.

It's looking lovely in the sunshine!

Your photos: Another beautiful spring day

BBC Weather Watchers

We've had blue skies and sunshine across the West Midlands again today.

These photos were taken by BBC Weather Watchers in Severn Stoke and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Sunshine at Severn Stoke
J at Severn Ridge
Stratford upon Avon
Ali

Queuing at Tesco in Cheltenham

The store - like many others - is operating a one-in-one-out system with limited numbers allowed inside.

View more on twitter

Rodney Parade to become drive-through testing centre

Rodney Parade
BBC

Rodney Parade in Newport is to become a rapid testing centre during the coronavirus outbreak.

The venue, home to Dragons and Newport rugby teams as well as Newport County FC, is to be used as a drive-through facility to test frontline NHS staff.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said the centre would help get staff back to work.

“The health and well-being of our staff is essential for delivering services for the people of Gwent,” the health board said in a statement.

“We are operating an internal process to assess our staff that are showing symptoms of the virus and booking them in for an appointment for testing.”

Dragons managing director Mark Jones said: "The health service and care workers are doing an incredible job so we are happy to offer our help and support in any way we can.”

The Pro14 rugby season has been suspended indefinitely and the June final, due to have been held in Cardiff, cancelled.

Morph: 'Here's how you do it'

Morph has taken to Twitter to show us all the correct way to wash our hands.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire northbound severe disruption, at J11A for A417 Gloucester.

M5 Gloucestershire - M5 exit slip road partially blocked and it's slow northbound at J11a, A417 (Gloucester), because of a vehicle that overturned earlier.

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

Picnic on park bench 'not reason to leave home'

Police advise people to stay at home

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Virtual exercising combats isolation

A gym that “wasn’t just a gym but also a community” to many people around Easton in Bristol, is trying to maintain links with its users during the lockdown.

Ash Guest, 26, has been a coach at Personal Combat Training (PCT) Gym for a year.

She says the closure of the gym has been hard for many who used it to promote their wellbeing: “Lots of people trained almost every night and it's really hard to have that suddenly taken away.

Now the gym's combat sport, Muay Thai, its kickboxing and fitness classes are all available online, if you fancy a change?

“We've been trying to stay positive and see this as an opportunity to reach more people and get more people moving.”

Gym coach team photo
Personal Combat Training (PCT) Gym
Ash Guest (Front row, second from left) and the team's videos have so far been watch more than 6,000 times

Prospect of staging outdoor summer concerts 'being assessed'

Keane
Getty Images

Forestry England says it is assessing what the government's latest advice and guidance means for its programme of live summer concerts.

Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, is scheduled to play host to four concerts between June 11-14.

Organisers say they will publish information online and contact ticket holders directly with any updates.

Rag N' Bone Man, Will Young and James Morrison, Madness and Keane are all set to perform.

Forest Live stages music in several UK locations and income from ticket sales is put towards looking after woodlands sustainably.

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire southbound severe disruption, from J14 for B4509 Thornbury to J15 for M4 J20.

M5 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound from J14, B4509 (Thornbury) to J15, M4 J20 (Almondsbury Interchange), because of a break down.

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

Chocolate Easter eggs 'laid off' by Gloucester farm

Chocolate Easter eggs
Over Farm

A farm in Gloucestershire is appealing for ways to offload its Easter stock of 4,000 chocolate eggs.

Over Farm in Gloucester ordered the eggs for its annual Easter event which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Farmer Matt Keene said: "We've had masses of feedback, but we are keen to get rid of them in bulk for hygiene reasons."

He said that a local food bank had been in touch, along with several other good causes and were considering their options.

Primary school to go ahead with 'celebration of learning'

A Herefordshire primary school is still planning to go ahead with its "celebration of learning" tomorrow, but will broadcast it on Facebook, because of the coronavirus.

When children broke up last week, the headteacher at Weobley Primary, Stephen Warrell, promised pupils it would go ahead.

Weobley Primary School
Google

A number of awards are due to be given out at the "golden assembly" and children will also have the chance to nominate a family member for a new award to celebrate the "new teaching army".

Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire westbound severe disruption, from J16 for A3102 Swindon Road to J17 for A350.

M4 Wiltshire - Vehicle on fire on M4 westbound from J16, A3102 (Swindon West) to J17, A350 (Chippenham). Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, at J17 for A4018.

M5 Bristol - M5 in Gloucestershire lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J17, A4018 (Cribbs Causeway), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Lockdown survival tips for those stuck inside

Liz Lewis

Broadcast Journalist

Polly Maxwell and Jules de Graaf
Polly Maxwell

As lockdown begins to bite, two people who truly understand what it's like to be trapped behind closed doors for weeks on end share advice on keeping your sanity.

Jules de Graaf, 25, and Polly Maxwell, 26, live in a shared house in Bristol.

Jules has been having chemotherapy, meaning she couldn't go outside for long periods of time, and Polly is her carer.

Here's their top tips for activities:

1) Jigsaw puzzles: Leaving a puzzle out somewhere for a few days (or weeks) so we can just do a bit at a time with a cuppa or with breakfast.

2) Binge-watching a television series: of course this would be on the list but we found that the bingeing was best if broken up with plenty of tea breaks and breaks of productivity (every episode or two get up do the dishes, wipe the sides down in the kitchen or just plump your sofa cushions - really feel like you have earned the next episode!).

3) Make something/ generally be creative. Learn something new - try an instrument or painting, drawing or knitting - remember play dough is not just for children.

Polly and Jules have used the time to do little enjoyable tasks
Polly Maxwell

4) Read or listen to a book. If you can get your hands on more than one copy of something it is nice to have a mini book club, or just read the book one after the other and chat about it. Steven Fry reading Harry Potter - I think we are on our third listen of the whole series, cannot remember the last time I fell asleep without the lull of his voice. Try reading plays out loud together which is quite fun and gets more dramatic.

5) Crosswords. You can only do two clues then pass it on.

6) Interior design (rearranging the house). Nothing drastic just moving the bed around the room or re-curating the art/photos on the walls. Getting rid of stuff also makes you feel super productive, sorting clothes for charity or selling online.

7) Gardening. If you have a garden getting outside is so important, weeding or planting new bulbs, or in our case trees. It is time to repot indoor plants too if they need it.

8) Cook. This is our favourite and more of a challenge post chemo but trying new recipes and cooking and eating together really keep us sane (no phones allowed).

Life on a narrowboat during the coronavirus outbreak
One couple are facing up to life on a canal during the coronavirus outbreak.

Severe accident: A40 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A40 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, at Bulley Lane.

A40 Gloucestershire - A40 in Churcham closed and it's heavy in both directions at the Bulley Lane junction, because of an accident.

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

Pledge that dignified burials will continue at Woodlands

Bristol Memorial Woodlands
Google

The owners of a woodland cemetery say they can ensure that dignified burials and memorial services remain available despite restrictions on gatherings.

Bristol Memorial Woodlands, a 100-acre burial ground near Filton, has lowered its prices and is aiming to provide solutions whilst groups are not allowed to gather together for services to say goodbye to loved ones.

Founder Chris Baker said: “We will be pleased to talk to families and work out a solution that works for them.

"One option is that we can carry out unattended or family-only burials now and can arrange a memorial service later in the year.

"Unattended burials, also known as “Bowie Funerals” have become more popular after David Bowie chose the option.

"We have plenty of space and room for many people to gather and as long as that is permitted we will continue to hold services.”

The woodland burials and memorial services are available to families in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Spike 'largely because of testing'

Chief medical officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton said the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, which covers south east Wales, said the higher rate of cases in the region was "largely" due to testing.

He cited the area's closeness to England - being on the border is an issue, he said.

There has also been "a lot more testing" in the health board area, which covers the counties of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Newport, Monmouthshire, and southern Powys.

That has led to an increase in the number of cases being identified, Mr Atherton said.

But he said the underlying message was that Covid-19 is circulating in all parts of Wales.

Yesterday the Aneurin Bevan board warned that it faced being overwhelmed as the pattern of a surge in cases was "following Italy".

Mum of five-year-old gives coronavirus warning

A Herefordshire mum whose five-year-old son tested positive for coronavirus has described seeing him in hospital as a traumatic experience.

Lauren Fulbrook, from Brockhampton, said her son Alfie had a temperature of more than 40 degrees and was taken to the Worcestershire Royal by ambulance.

Lauren and Alfie Fulbrook
Lauren Fulbrook

After being isolated in hospital, Alfie is now recovering at home, but Lauren is urging people to take the infection seriously, saying it can happen to anyone:

Coronavirus: Government orders 10,000 ventilators from Dyson

Ventilators
Getty Images

The government has ordered 10,000 ventilators from Dyson to help deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The firm, headed by British inventor Sir James Dyson, said it had designed a new type of ventilator in response to a call on behalf of the NHS.

The order is still subject to the devices passing stringent medical tests but that is expected to happen quickly.

Dyson has had hundreds of engineers working round the clock to design the ventilators from scratch.

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J7 for A44 Worcester and J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J7, A44 (Worcester) and J6, A4538 (Worcester), because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire both ways severe disruption, near J10 for A4019.

M5 Gloucestershire - Set of ladders in the road on M5 near J10, A4019 (Cheltenham). Approach with care.

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

Plea to stay home to avoid Italian fate in Wales

We reported earlier the concern that the NHS could be "following Italy" and faces being overwhelmed by a rapid increase in coronavirus cases.

"In Gwent we are seeing a rapidly rising increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in the community, the number of people being admitted to hospital and the number of people dying of the virus," Sarah Aitken, the Aneurin Bevan health board's director of public health said.

Here's her warning in full:

Coronavirus: 'The pattern in Gwent is the same seen in Italy'

Severe accident: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe accident, from J22 for M49 to J23 for M48.

M4 Bristol - One lane closed on M4 westbound from J22 M49 in Gloucestershire to J23 M48 in Monmouthshire, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: A4043 Torfaen both ways

BBC News Travel

A4043 Torfaen both ways severe accident, from Capel Newydd Avenue to Shop Road.

A4043 Torfaen - A4043 Cwmavon Road in Blaenavon closed in both directions from the Capel Newydd Avenue junction to the Shop Road junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

‘Community hubs’ established to support Gloucestershire patients

Gloucestershire NHS has set up a number of ‘community hubs’ in health centres and surgeries across the county to try to take the pressure off hospitals.

They are intended to "support patients who need face to face medical support and may have possible symptoms of coronavirus."

Members of the public will not be able to visit the hubs without going through NHS 111 and initial telephone and video assessment by their GP.

Urgent Care Lead at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Jeremy Welch said: “The NHS is doing everything it can to plan responsibly and take the right steps at the right time to ensure our patients continue to receive essential services in the right way based on their needs.”

"The local NHS will not advertise details of the individual hub locations to ensure that people do not attend the locations in any numbers and that they can focus solely on the safety of all concerned."

Doctor in face mask
Getty Images

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire northbound severe disruption, from J11 for A40 Gloucester to J9 for A46.

M5 Gloucestershire - One lane closed and it's heavy on M5 northbound from J11, A40 (Gloucester) to J9, A46 (Tewkesbury), because of a vehicle on fire.

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

Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus

Prince Charles
Reuters
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are isolating at Birkhall, their residence on the Balmoral estate

The Prince of Wales had been in London, before travelling to his country retreat Highgrove in Gloucestershire.

He then headed for Birkhall on Sunday and was tested on Monday, receiving the results on Tuesday.

Click here for the full story.

Changes to funeral services after Government advice

Gloucester Crematorium
Geograph/ Bilbo

Funeral services in Gloucestershire have now changed in line with Government advice.

Only five immediate family members are now allowed to attend a service. Those who do attend must socially distance.

For those mourners who can’t attend, webcasts will be available.

Cllr Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council said, “We are in unprecedented times and whilst we understand this is a difficult time for mourners, we have had to take drastic measures due to the threats to people's lives.

Tim Atkins, managing director for place and economic development said: ‘’We are continuing to undertake cremations and are currently reviewing the position in relation to ceremonies, in line with government advice.

"We appreciate that this is an unsettling time for many and as Cheltenham is one of the largest crematoriums in the county, it is essential that we continue to deliver the service people expect during a time of national emergency. We will continue to do all we can to support our communities.’’

New family connections prompted by coronavirus

Sharon Alcock

BBC News

Tommy on sit on tractor, towing relative in a wheelchair
Tommy Ferris
As you can see from the photo, we are taking social-distancing seriously during these times," Tommy said.

A Bristol man who lives with his elderly nana in Yate has posted how being cooped up together has made him "a sturdier man" and wants to inspire others isolating with the vulnerable.Tommy Ferris, 31, lives with Nana Jean, 81. They are heading towards the two week mark for being in self-isolation as Nana Jean has dementia and is vulnerable.

He writes: "Since we began living together, I've learned to become a much sturdier and more resilient man. Initially, seeing deterioration in my nana was something I struggled with hugely."

Over time Mr Ferris says he's learned to "treat every day as special" after "wasting time" being upset as he watched his nana deteriorating.

Jean Ferris
Tommy Ferris
Jean Preece is benefitting from daily outdoor trips with grandson Tommy, who is 50 years her junior

When they hit day 10 of being stuck inside he decided to to get some fresh air while abiding by government guidelines, so they went to the allotments where his grandpa has a plot.

"We had a glass of wine together and she recited memories of that place I’ve never heard before," said Mr Ferris. "We smiled, laughed and spoke about my Gramps (the love of her life) and we felt him there with us."

Now he's hoping to use his experiences to "inspire others" to take "all this free time we have now" and use it to help those living with dementia.

"Remind yourself that although this crisis is scary, it is also an opportunity for you to do something amazing for those who need it the most," he said.