Coronavirus Live Blog: Thursday, March 26

1 minute read
Coronavirus Live Blog: Thursday, March 26

Published at 6:59am 26th March 2020. (Updated at 7:03am 27th March 2020)

Wednesday’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:




#ClapForOurCarers heard loud and proud across Cornwall

This was Bodmin at 8pm tonight


What else would you do on a sunny lockdown evening?

Cornish Claire hits the hot tub! 


We're joining in with #ClapForOurCarers tonight on air with a special shout out for our NHS at 8pm - tune in and clap with us!

Clap for our carers

A Coronavirus tracking app has been released

Capture3 (1)

Updates from Prima Bakery

Scorrier shop (TR16 5BX) remains open to help provide food on your government allowed daily shopping trip. Strict social distancing measures are in place to protect us all. We have plenty of stock of basic food items including flour (max 2kg per person).

To help Cornwall further, and to get us all through the next few weeks, until further notice, our frozen unbaked 300g Standard Steak Cornish Pasty will be available for just £1.25 each (no 12 for 10 offer).

To minimise time spent in the shop by customers, they will only be available in bags of 5 and this price is for collection only.

There are no limits on purchase as we know many of you are buying for isolated relatives. We have plenty of stock so no need to preorder but please just buy what you need.

Thank you and take care. #lookaftereachother




Self-employed to get 80% of average monthly profits paid by government - up to £2,500 a month

The chancellor has announced that self-employed people will be able to claim a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits - up to £2,500 a month.

Rishi Sunak said the measures would be in place for at least three months and amounted to "one of the most generous packages in the world".

Prior to Thursday's news conference, the government had been under growing pressure to support the self-employed with a similar package of measures as introduced for employed workers.

Last week, the chancellor promised to pay 80% of salary for staff employees who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.

Treasury officials are said to have been working around the clock this week to prepare a package for the self-employed - which the government has said is a more complex task than helping those on PAYE.



Cornish donkey sanctuary needs your help amid COVID-19 outbreak

A donkey sanctuary in Penryn is appealing for urgent help amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Flicka Foundation says it needs help to continue to care for its resident donkeys and horses during the current global pandemic. 

The charity’s sanctuary site welcomes thousands of visitors through its gates each year, but recent restrictions forced it to close a little under a week ago. Charity representatives say this comes as a devastating blow, which seriously threatens its work.

“As for so many other charities, businesses and individuals all over the world, this is an incredibly worrying time for us financially.

"We rely heavily on visitors coming through our sanctuary gates to feed and care for our precious donkeys, but, due to the ongoing pandemic, we have had to close until further notice. It also seems likely that our upcoming Silver Jubilee Anniversary events will be cancelled.”

Judy Giles, Director

Members of the public are normally welcome to visit the donkeys year-round, but the spring and summer months are the most popular with visitor donations, as well as vital income from the charity’s Tea Room and Gift Cabin. The money is then used to feed and care for the animals.

Essential medications for the sanctuary’s residents currently cost £1,500 per month and their feed alone totals another £2000 monthly. 

The Flicka Foundation says it is now urgently seeking funds from elsewhere to enable it to continue to care for its rescued animals.



UK pledge an extra £210 million to international vaccine fund


'Heartbroken' pregnant woman faces giving birth alone due to COVID-19

An expectant mother says she will have to give birth alone as social distancing measures force her to keep away from her family.

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, the Royal College of Midwifery (RCM) is advising pregnant women to "start thinking about alternative birth partners" as those with symptoms will not be able to attend.

But Lauren Wildschut, who is 39 weeks pregnant, says she is facing up to the prospect of giving birth completely alone because her husband Joel, her parents and other close relatives are all acutely impacted by the UK lockdown.

The 29-year-old, from Peterborough, told Sky News she was "absolutely devastated" by the prospect.

"My husband is due to be my birthing partner and my parents are due to be looking after our four-year-old daughter when I go into labour," she said.

"Based on the new lockdown rules, it is now looking extremely likely that I will now have to give birth alone without my husband as he will need to stay home with our daughter. I am absolutely devastated.

"This pregnancy has been quite stressful and now I have to deal with the prospect that I'll be birthing on my own."

Pregnant women are among those being classed as vulnerable to COVID-19, along with the elderly and people with health conditions.



National Animal Welfare Trust Cornwall to hold a virtual coffee morning tomorrow


Be part of our 'on air' competition! 

Introducing Scott's 'On Air' competition! Scott has nearly everything he needs to broadcast from home; his mircophone, headphones, screens BUT one crucial thing is missing - no 'on air' light!

So, kids, we need you! Design Scott an 'on air' light poster and you might get featured on in his studio! We'll also be giving as many shout outs as we can!



Cornish Claire VS the Tesco queue

Cornish Claire reacts to the realities of trying to do the essential food shop during the lockdown.


Cornish Seal Sanctuary demonstrate social distancing!


Bradfords Building Supplies supports those on the frontline

Elton John 2

Elton John to host 'living room' gig featuring Billie Eilish and Mariah Carey

Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys are among stars taking part in a fund-raising "living room" gig hosted by Sir Elton John to provide entertainment during isolation.

The stars, who are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, will film themselves performing on their own mobile phone or camera and audio equipment "to ensure the health and safety of all involved", according to a statement.

In an hour-long concert, stars will also pay tribute to health workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and fans will be able to donate to charities helping victims and key workers.

Viewers will be asked to support two of the charitable organisations aiding victims and first responders during the pandemic: Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation.


Newquay Police coronavirus

"Your cooperation is paramount" - Devon and Cornwall Police issue update on COVID-19

The Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police has said our cooperation during this time is 'paramount' to ensure we keep each other safe.
It comes as police in the county are given new powers by the Government, which enables them to patrol the streets and issue fines to those who are making non-essential journeys. 

On Wednesday, police stopped over 150 vehicles in the Penzance, Hayle and St Ives areas to check with people why they were out and about on the roads. 

With the current situation regarding COVID-19, police have reiterated that we are living in unprecedented and worrying times. With this in mind, Devon & Cornwall Police say it is doing all it can to keep its officers, staff and community’s safe.



'You should not be travelling to exercise'

This from Devon & Cornwall Police's Paul Freestone:



 Global Cases 






Spain's death toll rises by 655


Care homes in need of iPads - a radio success story

Win a brand new iPad with Pool Academy

Emma from Pemberthy Care Home in Newquay contacted Lucy on the Breakfast Show earlier to ask if anyone had a spare iPad.

Residents there have been getting confused and upset because their families haven't been able to visit.

Unsurprisingly for Pirate listeners, within 10 minutes there was good news.

But other residents in care homes will undoubtably be having the same struggles.

So if you have an iPad you're willing to loan or give to a care home, why not contact your local care home directly by phone and see if it would be of use?

Well done Cornwall.



8 Learning a musical lesson for kids from YouTube

Claire learns how to play Baby Shark from a YouTube video so she can pass it on to her kids

For all Claire's previous videos, click here

WATCH NEXT: Now she passes on what she has learned! 😂



Electrician to the rescue - by phone



When all your electrics blow during an epidemic it can be quite scary.

Kirsty has been in touch to share her story of how a local electrician helped out when that happened to her last night.

And he even managed to maintain social distancing - by not leaving his house.

Kirsty told us: "Last night all my electrics blew and when we turned them back on I only had 2 sockets in the house working.

"Emergency extension leads were deployed to save the fridge and freezer and this morning I called Western Power.

"They weren’t much use so I called a local electrician called Paul from PS Electrical.

"He was amazing. He managed to talk me through what to do and managed to get me working again.

"I'm so grateful, I just wanted to pass it on."

Paul is based near Redruth and for more see


Queues at Cornwall Tesco store

Thanks to Jon for sharing these pictures on Twitter. 

This is what's happening at the Pool Extra store.


Cornwall letting agent says 'rent holiday' just delays court action


A letting agent in Cornwall has said people in rented accommodation still need to pay, despite talks of a government "rent holiday".

Northwood Cornwall said, while it hadn't seen new legislation, "it simply gives a little more time to pay before court action is started".

"There is NO change in this regard to how it has always been, your rent is lawfully due and if you get into any rent arrears you will be fully liable for these," it said in an e-mail to tenants, encouraging them to seek benefits.

"[The Draft Bill relating to the Coronavirus emergency laws] has extended the notice period we must give tenants for possession of the property to three months instead of the customary two months.  Contrary to previous headlines there is no eviction ban, notices for possession of the property can still be served, just with the longer notice period."



Newquay airport closed due to Coronavirus


Police stop 150 vehicles in one day in west Cornwall


Police have stopped over 150 vehicles in west Cornwall is just one day, to check they were making essential journeys.

Officers have been given new powers to make sure people are following the government rules surrounding the coronavirus lockdown.

On Wednesday police pulled over 150 drivers in the Penzance, Hayle and St Ives areas to check why there were out and about on the roads.



'Don't be a k*ob' MP tells people moaning about police

Johnny Mercer is MP for Plymouth Moor View


MOTs: Government adds 6 free months


What will happen if your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT due date is on or after 30 March 2020?

From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months.

This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

You do not need to do anything to extend your vehicle’s MOT expiry date if it’s on or after 30 March 2020.

However, you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.

Read more at the government website here



Chinese students using private jets to flee US amid COVID-19 outbreak

Chinese students from wealthy families are asking their parents to pay for seats on private jets to bring them home from the US where the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.

In China, where the pandemic began late last year, authorities have managed to get on top of the disease, but the US is struggling to cope in some areas.

More than 50,000 infections have been recorded in the US, with new cases in China falling to zero.

New York state has recorded more than 5,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a single day, putting the total above 30,000.

Jeff Gong, a lawyer in Shanghai, offered his daughter, a high school student in Wisconsin, either 180,000 yuan (£21,376) or a ticket on a private flight home.

"My daughter begged me to get her back home ... She said 'No papa, I don't want the money, I want to go home'," he said.

Families are worried that time is running out.



Spotify pledges $10m to struggling musicians hit by COVID-19 outbreak


Spotify has pledged up to $10m (£8.4m) to help musicians hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The streaming giant will also match each donation made by the public through its COVID-19 Music Relief page, up to a combined total of $10m (£8.4m).

The company says it is launching a tool which will allow artists to link out of the app to alternative donation pages.

Some of the service's creator tool features will now also be free.

SoundBetter is temporarily waiving its revenue share, cloud-based recording platform Soundtrap is offering free trials for educators, and podcast-making app Anchor is waiving fees on its listener support feature.

Spotify has partnered with music organisations MusiCares, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians for the initiative.

It is not the only company making moves to support those in the creative industries amid the coronavirus pandemic.



PM to workers: " Our country owes you a huge debt of gratitude."


Samaritans offer whatever help they can


Tonight: Clap for our carers

Pirate FM will join people across the UK at 8pm to pause for a mass applause to recognise the immense efforts of NHS workers.

Join us, wherever you are, to say thanks.


A message from Devon & Cornwall Police

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer released the below message.


Barriers raised for Royal Cornwall Hospital staff

We're hoping this means they can park for free.


Wetherspoons U-turn to pay workers

It comes after almost 100 MPs signed a letter to the Wetherspoons boss.



Amazing birthday surprise for 8 year old girl - from the entire street


This is the reality facing some NHS staff


Cornish resort provides free accommodation to local nurses and doctors

Landal Gwel an Mor

The Landal Gwel an Mor resort in Portreath is supporting the fight against coronavirus by providing free accommodation to doctors and nurses at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Doctors and nurses started moving into the resort early this week, with the majority staying at the resort as they have vulnerable family members, so they need to move out of their homes to be able to continue their work in saving lives.

Staff who have been called on to return to the area to assist with the ‘NHS needs you’ recruitment push have also been offered lodges at Landal Gwel an Mor. 

With the resort of 114 lodges closing to guests, CEO of the resort Bill Haslam and the Management team put their heads together on how they could help to support the NHS, working quickly to devise a new purpose for the resort. 

“We felt compelled to do something proactive and positive, working as quickly as we could to help in any way, this dire situation.  With us sitting on empty lodges, we decided we needed to look into how we could support our local efforts, so offering accommodation to nurses and doctors at Treliske was the obvious answer,” said Matt Way, Resort Director of Landal Gwel an Mor.

“All our lodges are self-contained and fully equipped with washers, dryers, dishwashers, cooking equipment - everything our NHS workers will need between shifts to keep them going."

The resort has worked with the NHS with regards to safety with strict procedures in place for cleaning and contact, with 24-hour security also provided for the NHS staff staying to ensure they feel safe and looked after.  All communal areas of the resort are closed, so NHS staff will be accessing their personal lodges only during this time. 

The resort also welcomed paramedics and firefighters involved in the Grenfell Tower disaster from London offering holidays for them and their families to get some respite and time away together. 


Foodbank donation from holiday park


Looe Bay Holiday Park has donated £200 worth of food to Liskeard and Looe Foodbank.

After Government instruction to shut the park, the team took the decision to provide essential resources to those in need as a result of the Coronavirus.

As the park was ramping up for the start of the Easter holidays, it had full stocks of fresh items which the team didn’t want to go to waste, and parks up and down the country have also donated household items like toilet rolls, antibacterial spray and blue roll to schools and GP/medical facilities, as well as food banks.

Rick Ackroyd, Looe Bay Holiday Park said: “We’re all proud to be a part of the community and contribute to the local economy, so we wanted to make sure we’re still able to give back when the park is closed. We’ve all seen how much demand there has been at food banks, so we were more than happy to do our bit to support the Liskeard and Looe Foodbank.”

The company has already announced that no Parkdean Resorts employee will be made redundant as a result of Coronavirus, and the company will be paying 100% salary. The company is looking to reopen on 1st May.


'Britain at it's best'


Advice to dog owners in Cornwall amid Covid-19 lockdown

dog walking

Advice is going out to dog walkers across Cornwall amid the UK-wide coronavirus lockdown.

In the government's efforts to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, people are only allowed outside for a select few reasons.

These include for food shopping, for medical reasons, to help someone who is vulnerable or to exercise once a day, including walking your dog.

Cornwall Council is urging people to keep pets on leads in public spaces to help observe the social distancing rules.



Couples who don't live together told to consider moving in


Couples living separately have been told they should consider moving in together in the wake of the restrictions on movement imposed under the UK's coronavirus lockdown.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that gatherings of more than two people are now banned as part of the government's efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The new rules allow only four reasons for leaving the house: shopping for basic necessities like food and medicine, one form of daily exercise, for medical needs and commuting to work that cannot be done from home.

In a message to the nation from Downing Street, the prime minister advised that any contact involving two people not living in the same home should be carried out while keeping at least two metres (6.5ft) apart.



The UK death toll approaches 500


465 people have now died from Covid-19 in the UK.

The figure rose after 43 patients died in the last 24 hours.

A further 1,450 people have also been diagnosed with Coronavirus - making the total 9,529.


Welcome to Pirate's Coronavirus SUPERBLOG!

We'll be bringing you live updates, local stories and light relief as Cornwall battles Coronavirus.

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