Coronavirus Live Blog: Tuesday, March 24

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Coronavirus Live Blog: Tuesday, March 24

Published at 6:52am 24th March 2020. (Updated at 7:12am 25th March 2020)

Tuesday's live updates, local stories and light relief as Cornwall battles Coronavirus

It's Gareth and Libby here with you today.
If you have something we should be featuring, tweet us @piratefm or e-mail
Live updates will load below:

Crowdfunder to feed NHS staff


Landal Gwel An Mor offers free accommodation to NHS staff


Matt Hancock announced a scheme for 250,000 NHS Volunteers

You can register to become a NHS Volunteer, here


Updates from Number 10 tonight


Healey's process of making hand sanitiser instead of Rattler


France death toll rises above 1,000


Got any little JCB lovers in the family?

They've created a whole set of JCB resources to keep little ones entertained!


Here's the Cornish places given 10,000 pieces of KFC chicken


KFC has shut all it's stores across Cornwall - but they've made sure no chicken went to waste.

Staff cooked up over 10,000 pieces of fresh chicken and headed out onto the road to hand it out.

They prioritised places like hospitals and police stations.

Rees Brown, restaurant general manager, told Pirate:  "Following the closure of all of our stores we made a decision to donate all of our fresh chicken products rather than waste them.

"Across all the KFCs in Devon and Cornwall we have donated over 10,000 pieces of chicken to hospitals, supermarkets, police stations, bus stations, homeless shelters and many more places."


Opie Oils

Opie Oils is still open for business, and, taking extra precautions for elderly & vulnerable people in Cornwall

We are still open for business!

Just to let you know in these testing times that we are still here for you.

We have put necessary precautions in place to safeguard all Opie Oils customers, staff and drivers during these hard times with hygiene and health as a critical priority.

We have closed our Bucketts Hill Depot in Redruth but are fully operational in Cardrew Industrial estate in Redruth for our drivers to fill up and deliver to the county!

We would like to thank all our customers, drivers and locals for their loyalty and love!

Stay safe!

The Opie Oils Heating Oil Team

For any heating oil help & advice please call: 01209 215 164


Tolls suspended on Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry


Department for Education - Free school meal update



The government are aware of the scam emails going out in relation to free school meals and have posted updated guidance for schools.


We know that schools and education settings are concerned about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on pupils currently eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

This guidance explains what schools should do to make sure eligible pupils have continued access to free school meals where:

the pupil has to stay at home because they and/or wider family members are displaying coronavirus (COVID-19) related symptoms
the school is only open for certain groups or is closed temporarily


Daisy Dukes collects for homeless community


Watch a live History lesson from a WW2 bunker tomorrow

Live history lesson


Western Approaches HQ are due to host a live history lesson tomorrow on Facebook which could be perfect for any children who would normally attend Primary school.

We will be streaming a live Facebook history lesson on life in Wartime Liverpool - aimed at Primary school age, but relevant for all.

The lesson will include a tour around Western Approaches Secret WW2 HQ in Liverpool city centre.

The lesson will also discuss the Battle of The Atlantic, the role of Liverpool during the war, rationing, air raids and more.

All free of charge and any child who completes the lesson will get a free pass to Western Approaches worth £8 when we eventually re-open.


Government to open new hospital for 4,000 people in London next week

More as we get it...


Government to launch NHS Volunteer Responders

More as we have it...


Short FIlm Commission - Women of Cornish Music


short film commission


This is great for any creatives in Cornwall that may have the perfect idea, or are looking for something new to work on. For more info, including the full brief and application form, head over to their website.


Coastline Housing are asking for cheery post for their Miners Court inhabitants


Police patrol local communities

police 5

A nursery in Truro open for key workers children has been burgled

A children’s nursery near Truro has been forced to close for “key workers” after burglars caused extensive damage.
Police say Daisy Fays Nursery on Carnon Crescent was broken in to between 8pm on Saturday 21 March and 7am on Sunday 22 March. 

Two gas canisters were stolen and significant damage caused to the front entrance.

The nursery had been due to open this week for those children with parents identified as “key workers” by the government as part of the Covid-19 response strategy, but was unable to due to the damage caused, meaning parents who are hospital staff were denied childcare. 



Amputee's wife makes him wooden leg after COVID-19 crisis delays treatment

The delay to non-urgent surgeries caused by the coronavirus crisis hasn't dented the hopes of one couple to find a solution.

The wife of an amputee used her imagination and skills to fashion a prosthetic leg for her husband from household items.

Atchari Watson and her husband Steve, from County Durham, said they faced a wait of months if they wanted to go ahead with an NHS prosthetic.

On her first attempt, the 46-year-old used a seaside bucket, fibreglass resin and a piece of wood - but Mr Watson said it kept sliding off.

But a second try with part of a moon boot and some wood from the shed solved the problem and allowed him to walk around their house.

Mr Watson, a teaching assistant who was in the Army, said: "My wife is very practical. She can turn her hand to anything.

"At first when I saw her rummaging around in the shed I thought she was going to do the garden.

"The next thing, she had one of our son's seaside buckets and an old piece of wood."



Amazon delivery delays for non-essential items


Amazon delivery

Due to Amazon’s recent announcement that it would start prioritising delivery of essential items, many less-critical Amazon Prime orders are now seeing shipping delays of up to a month.

People began noticing the delivery dates over the weekend while looking to purchase things to help entertain or keep themselves occupied while in self-isolation. Now, Amazon Prime customers who are accustomed to getting their products deliver in two days or less are seeing delivery estimates on non-essential items as far away as April 21.

In an official statement to Recode, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that 

“to serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers,” which has “resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”



'People are going to die because others are being selfish'

Despite the Prime Minister ordering us to stay home, Britons are still putting lives at risk by unnecessarily going out.

Now a woman from Cornwall who is at risk because she suffers from asthma, has told PIrate FM she wants a militar lockdown because of "selfish" people.

The woman, who has asked us to withhold her name, said some people still think Cornwall won't be affected, despite deaths.

"People don't think that it's going to come here because we're so far from London but it's already here," she said.

"I can't understand it. It's a real crisis and people aren't taking it seriously.

"It's going to kill thousands of innocent people. It's just crazy."



Scam email warning


Roche CP School have put out the following message on social media in relation to possible scam emails circulating to parents.


New hand sanitiser plant 'to be operating within 10 days'


Chemicals firm Ineos says is to open a new plant on Teesside within 10 days capable of producing one million bottles of hand sanitiser per month.

It made the announcement as the government appeals for firms to produce goods, such as ventilators, that are vital for the NHS as it battles the coronavirus crisis.

Ineos, which already produces rubber gloves, PVC saline drips, syringes, ventilators and medical tubing, said the cleaning product it would produce just outside Middlesbrough would be given to the health service free of charge.

It intends to make standard and pocket bottles for use on wards and by health professionals.




Special flights to get Britons home as emergency travel loan offered

aeroplane plane

Special flights are being set up to get Britons stranded because of the coronavirus lockdown home, the foreign secretary has announced.

Dominic Raab said Singapore had agreed to be the transit hub where people stuck in countries like Australia, New Zealand and Peru could fly through on their way back to the UK.

He also assured travellers unable to afford the cost of a plane ticket back they could get an emergency loan to cover the cost.




Community Help Map

Go Diagnostics

We are continuing to operate a mobile diagnostics and repair service extended to 24hrs a day.

From 6pm to 6am this service is restricted to support workers only at all other times it is available to anyone needing it.

This includes our speciality services of DPF cleaning/repairs and injector faults, lost car keys and any electronic issues along with our normal business scope of vehicle repair.

In addition to this we will collect and deliver cars.

We repair all brands of cars, vans, motorhomes, coachs and lorries and are a Ford Volkswagen Audi Seat Skoda independant approved repair centre.

Our workshop remains open with 1 member of staff only whilst it is still within government guidelines to do so.

We have been operating a clean environment since that start of February this year as we have a son with kidney failure who is on the at risk list as such we take every care to ensure cross contamination risks are minimised within current known processes including the use of gloves replaced after every single use contact, sterilising and antibacterial sprays, gels & wipes. Staff temperatures are taken twice daily.

Contactless payments can be taken both mobile and at the workshop for any amount.
please contact us via the mobile 0777 0666 102 for the quickest response or on our workshop 01209 717 700




Artist Pete McKee to start art classes for beginners every Wednesday



Waitrose deploys 'two metre marshalls' as contactless limit to be raised

The supermarket chain was to limit customer numbers in-store, introduce 'safe distance' floor signage and deploy, what it described as, 'two-metre marshals' to help manage queues.

Protective screens were also being erected at checkouts where contactless shopping was to be encouraged.

Lidl said it was also installing checkout protection screens across all its stores.



NHS has some top tips for keeping on top of your mental health whilst at home


Healey's produces hand sanitiser to help Treliske with demand

One of Cornwall’s leading drinks producers and business famed for its award-winning Rattler Cyder joins the fight against COVID-19, by supplying urgently required hand sanitiser to Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske.

The hospital approached Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm to ask for its help in making the much-needed product to help combat the spread of COVID-19 amid UK shortages. Under new measures, HMRC is fast-tracking applications so that companies wanting to produce hand sanitising products using 65% high strength alcohol, in accordance with the World Health Organisation recipe, can be quickly authorised, and Healeys were honoured to take up the challenge.

Healeys will be providing 100 litres a week to Treliske free of charge and are anticipating the need to make more of this product available in bulk for other organisations in need during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Healey, Managing Director Operations:

“It goes without saying that we will do what it takes to help the NHS in Cornwall during these difficult times. We are using our on-site gin distillery in a new innovative way. We’ve been provided with an NHS / World Health Organisation approved recipe to make alcohol-based hand rub and are supplying 100 litres every week to Royal Cornwall Hospital, free of charge starting from today - and for the foreseeable future.”

Piran Clark, Quality Assurance Technician at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust:

“As we all know, the NHS is in extraordinary times in regards to the health of vulnerable people across the country but we have been amazed by the incredible support shown to us by businesses in Cornwall to help support us in giving the best possible care we can. The speed in which Healey’s has been able to turn around this new hand sanitiser for us has gone a long way in helping us keep those at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske safe from the Coronavirus infection. A massive thank you to Healey’s at this challenging time for us all here in Cornwall.”



'Targeted patrols' across Cornwall amid Covid-19 crisis

Police are going to be carrying out more patrols across Cornwall with immediate effect, as the UK goes into 'lockdown' amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister announced tough new measures during a press conference on Monday night, including restrictions on when we can leave our homes.

We are now only allowed outside for basic shopping, for one form of exercise a day, for a medical appointment or to help a vulnerable person.

You can also go to work but only if absolutely necessary.



Griggs taking extra precautions


Olympics postponed for a year


B&Q to reopen as essential stores


A B&Q spokesperson said:

"Last night, the Prime Minister announced that all non-essential retailers will close to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

"We have now learnt that the DIY and Hardware store sector has been categorised as an essential retailer by the government.

"We are now working out the safest and simplest way to support communities in providing only essential products moving forwards.

"Our stores, as we prepare, will be closed today, Tuesday 24th March.

"Thank you for your understanding and support in advance. More information will follow."  


Italian priest dies after giving his respirator to younger patient he did not know


Barnecutt's donates food to St Petrocs as stores across Cornwall close


School car park available for NHS workers


Pharmacies urge public to only buy medicines they need amid panic buying

IMG_1400 2

Pharmacies have urged the public to only buy medicines they need to avoid "creating difficulties" for others following panic buying across the UK.

There is no overall shortage of prescription medicines, but there has been an increase in demand for all types of products - particularly hand sanitisers, paracetamol and thermometers.

Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), which represents independent community pharmacy professionals, said providers were doing everything they could to maintain the supply of medicines.

The NPA warned that the sharp surge in demand for medicines could lead to longer waiting times while pharmacy staff process prescriptions.

"In most cases, pharmacies are currently able to meet need in a timely fashion, even if that means limiting the quantity of certain medicines sold to each customer," Mr Lyonette said.

"Certain products, for example, hand sanitisers, paracetamol and thermometers, are only intermittently available.

"Please only buy the medicines you need now for you and your family; this will help to avoid creating difficulties for others, so that everyone in your community gets the medicines they need."



Rubbish collections to continue


Cornwall Council has announced that all 14 waste and recycling centre will close.

However, the authority has said rubbish collections will continue.

In a statement it said:

In line with the Government’s restrictions, all 14 Household Waste and Recycling Centres are now CLOSED until further notice. Kerbside collections of waste and recycling continue, so please place your bags and recycling out for your usual collection times.  


Prima Bakeries to continue making pasties as "essential service"

Prima Bakeries

In a statement the firm told Pirate FM:

"Last night, the PM indicated that food manufacture, distribution and retailing must continue as an essential service.

Prima will therefore continue to operate our bakery and Scorrier shop until advised otherwise.

We produce large amounts of bread and rolls for NHS sites in Cornwall as well as hundreds of local stores, depended upon by local people.

We will therefore continue to do everything we can to support the local community, while allowed by the authorities.

To ensure the safety of our staff and customers, Prima is taking the following actions:

  • Prima staff with a relevant underlying health condition or who were felt to be particularly vulnerable are already away from work and isolating.
  • We do not use production lines so are able to get staff in the factory to work at least 2 metres apart.
  • Increased use of hand washing, sanitising and disposable gloves for all staff.
  • Social distancing enforcement at the shop, no more than 2 people in the shop at any time.
  • Cashless payments encouraged, Prima staff to keep 2 metres from customers on all occasions.
  • Tuesday 24th March will be the last day for hot pasties and sandwiches.
  • The shop will remain open for frozen home bake pasties and staple items such as flour, bread and milk. We have plenty of stock so please just buy what you need on your daily shopping trip.

We will continue to monitor government advice daily and will respond accordingly.
If of course the above does not reassure you, we totally understand and respect that and look forward to seeing you again when this crisis is all over #lookaftereachother"


"Get your information from reliable sources" - says Cornwall MP


These shops may still be open




















Kernow Chocolate launch sweet competition


Further visiting restrictions at Cornwall's hospitals

royal cornwall hospital


Hospital bosses say they have taken the 'difficult decision' to bring in more restrictions to visiting hospitals from Tuesday 24th March.

The changes apply to Treliske, St Michael’s Hospital and West Cornwall Hospital and the same steps have been taken in community hospitals across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  

What are the restrictions?

From 24th March 2020 RCHT will be stopping all visiting to hospitals, except for:

  • end of life (where COVID-19 is not a factor)
  • children and neonatal unit – 1 parent at any one time
  • maternity – 1 birth partner only.

In all cases visitors should call before coming to hospital to confirm their visit can go ahead.



Get Carol Vorderman's maths lessons for FREE


Government sends 'stay home' warning by text message

nhs stay txt



Cornwall waste and recycling centres close


'Targeted patrols' across Cornwall amid Covid-19 crisis

police officer

Police are going to be carrying out more patrols across Cornwall with immediate effect, as the UK goes into 'lockdown' amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Officers from across the Duchy and Devon's force will be given new powers, along with every other force across the country.

People who don't follow the strict new guidelines could face fines.

Our force says "We each have a part to play to protect the loved ones in our communities... and by doing this we can save lives."

"With immediate effect we are deploying officers to undertake targeted patrols, actively encouraging people to adhere to the measures which have been put in place."



Sports Direct does u-turn on keeping stores open

Sports Direct has done a u-turn after saying it planned to keep all its stores open, including in Cornwall.

The retailer has stores in Truro, St Austell and Penzance.

Tough new measures were announced by Boris Johnson last night that all UK shops selling non-essential goods should close immediately.

He also made it clear that only key workers should be travelling to work and people should only be going to shops in order to buy food or collect medicines and prescriptions.

The prime minister also said people could leave home for exercise, but only with people they are living with.

Sports Direct told staff it planned to keep all its stores open because it sells equipment designed for exercising at home. 

Shortly after the PM's announcement the finance chief of Frasers Group, which includes Sports Direct and Evan's Cycles, wrote to all staff.

Chris Wootton suggested that the company's outlets are essential in the fight against COVID-19 and that staff were therefore key workers.

But on Tuesday morning it was decided that all Sports Direct stores would close after all.




Why are there so many people on the roads?


Richard Osman: NHS workers have nation's thanks


Our amazing ex-NHS staff! 

Thousands of them!

nhs thank you

Neil & Lucy are not in the studio - but the show goes on!


Due to recent government advice, here at Pirate we're all trying to stay safe and protect each other while still delivering the same fun shows, great music and latest information for Cornwall.

So Neil is broadcasting from his bedroom and Lucy is on her sofa.

Thanks to technology, the Breakfast Show continues! 

Together, we'll get through this Cornwall!






The Good News Network is on hand to lift our spirits.

They've offered up a "list of reasons why the global situation is not as bad as the mainstream media might have you think".

Here we're sharing a handful of our favourites. 

You can read Kinley Corbley's full article here.

1. The man who predicted Covid-19 trends says we're going to be fine

Biophysicist Michael Levitt says "as long as countries continue to practice safe self-isolation measures, the numbers show that they are already beginning to experience slow signs of improvement".
Thankfully Boris has just introduced new rules to help us....

2. There are lots of vaccines in development

World Health Organisation representatives say they are working with scientists around the world to test and develop 20 different vaccines.
We only need one to work, right?

3. We're finding new ways of entertaining ourselves

Whether it's singing from balconies, families spending more quality time together or discovering new books through free offerings from Audible, there's some good coming from the restrictions.
We mentioned free books, right? And games. And more.

4. 100,000 people have already recovered

As well as being a huge number to successfully fight the virus, there's also people aged 90 who are beating it,
And as China recovers, it suggests there is light at the end of the tunnel.


View this post on Instagram

Mandando mucho amor ❤️ Sending so much love

A post shared by Penélope Cruz (@penelopecruzoficial) on




Screenshot 2020-03-23 at 8.52.10 pm

"Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades," the PM began as he addressed the nation on Monday.

Mr Johnson said if we don't take the right action there will come a point where the health service can't cope with the impact of Coronavirus.

"If too many people become seriously unwell at one time the NHS will be unable to handle it," he said.

The PM said more people are likely to die from other illnesses as well as Coronavirus is action wasn't taken.

"It's vital to slow the spread of the disease," he said.

"That's why we've been asking people to stay at home."

But people weren't listening, he said.

"The time has come for us all to do more.

"You must stay at home."

From now on people are told they can leave home:

  • Shopping for basic necessities

  • One form of exercise a day

  • Any medical need.

  • Travel to or from work, but only where absolutely necessary.

Mr Johnson said the police will have the powers to enforce with fines and to disperse groups.




From shop closures and Cornwall updates to global developments and how to get free audiobooks, here's how yesterday unravelled.

Oh, and the PM had that announcement.



Motorhomes 'move onto streets' around Cornwall

caravan LDRS

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Caravans and motor homes which have been turfed out of holiday parks are now clogging up residential streets – and there’s little Cornwall Council can do about it.

After holiday parks shut their gates over the weekend – following a backlash against people who had decided to come to Cornwall  during the coronavirus crisis – there have been reports of people setting up camp in residential streets.

Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for transport, said the council’s powers were limited in what it could do to tackle the problem.

“This was mentioned briefly in a meeting that we had with officers this morning and we are looking at what we can do.

“However we don’t have any powers to move people on unless they are parked illegally and there are yellow lines.

“If the Government were to change the legislation then we might be able to do more.

“But, at the moment, there is very little that we can do if a vehicle is legal, unless they are dropping waste on the highway, but most of these motorhomes are self-contained and there is no need for that.”

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council



Thank you for all your tin donations


This is how many people's days are looking

Now the PM has ordered us all to stay in our homes, plans for the day may vary.


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