Coronavirus Live Blog: Wednesday, March 18

Share This Article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
  • Last Updated –

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

5.44 PM

‘There will be help for people who rent’ – PM

The Prime Minister has said the government will offer ‘protection and support’ to people living in rented accommodation.

Boris Johnson has been speaking to reporters at the daily Coronavirus press conference.

But he stopped short of specifying what would be done.

He said: “We will be bringing forward legislation to help renters.

“There are people who face difficulty through no fault of their own.

“Everybody who experiences disruption is entitled to protection and support.”

5.30 PM

BREAKING: Schools to close from Friday

MPs have been told schools in England will close after shutting their gates on Friday afternoon until further notice.

Children of key workers and the most vulnerable children may still attend, it is thought.

“We will continue from the beginning to do the right thing at the right time and follow the best scientific advice,” said Boris Johnson as he addressed the nation at his daily Coronavirus update briefing.

“We have been consistently advised there is an important trade-off with schools.”

Boris said keeping schools open would help slow the spread of the epidemic because young people are less vulnerable to the virus, and it would reduce the impact on the NHS – but it was “a balanced judgement” and it was “under constant review”.

“Now is the time to put further downward pressure on the upward curve [of Coronavirus],” he said.

The PM said he needed health workers and other key people to still go to work and needed schools to make provisions for the children of those people.

He said children should not be left with older relatives who may be vulnerable to the virus.

Exams in May and June have been scrapped but the PM said he will make sure students get the grades they deserve.

“The scientific advice shows that these settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending,” Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told MPs.

“But asking others to stay away will just go towards helping us slow the spread of this virus.

“Examples of these key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work.

“Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with educational health and care plans.”

5.20 PM

BREAKING: Italy deaths surge

5.10 PM

Life in China is ‘returning to normal’

Coronavirus’ grip on China is starting to slip, according to reports.

According to CNN, COVID-19 has largely been contained across the country.

Lockdowns are said to be lifted in some areas and employees returning to work.

China only reported 20 new cases today — a drastic drop from just a few weeks ago, when the country was recording thousands of new infections a day, reports CNN

There have now been more cases reported outside of mainland China than inside, where it began.

UK deaths now over 100

Truro & Penwith College to close and teach online

East Cornwall GP patients told ‘it will be a challenging time’ in new update

Patients in Cornwall have been given guidance on what to expect during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The East Cornwall Primary Care Network issued a message to the 105,000 GP patients across East Cornwall on Wednesday.

All routine cases and appointments will not be seen by a GP or Healthcare professional for the foreseeable future.


Royal Cornwall Museum closed

Cornish Pirates

Cornish Pirates update over matches and staff

With the RFU suspending all rugby activity in England, our local team the Cornish Pirates have put out a statement in relation to upcoming matches and the players.

The suspension, as it stands, will mean the postponement of our scheduled home game against London Scottish this Sunday, plus following games against Hartpury (away 27/3), Yorkshire Carnegie (away 5/4), and Jersey Reds (home 12/4).

Cornish Pirates CEO Rebecca Thomas said:  

“We are fully supportive of the decision made to suspend matches and the health and wellbeing of our staff, supporters and community comes first.  We are taking the steps as per the guidelines and would urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to try and minimise the spread and impact of Covid-19, and to remain safe and well.”


3.25 PM

National Trust – Free Entry to Gardens & Parks

The National Trust have put out a message that they are aiming to open many of their Gardens and Parks for free in order for people to make use of their outside spaces. This could be perfect for people that need to get out and about for some fresh air in a wide open space. Most are also suitable for walking dogs.

This will still mean for people to follow Government guidance and use social distancing, and to help with this, the Trust will be closing their houses, cafe’s and shops this week until further notice.

There’s a range of National Trust locations around Cornwall, a full list of which can be found on their website.

3.01 PM

Dental surgery closes for up to 3 months

A Cornish dentist has taken “an unprecendented decision” to close for potentially three months.

St Mawes Dental said only emergency cover may be provided.

Due to the vulnerable demographic of our patients and the close proximity in which we work, I have taken the unprecedented decision to close the practice for POTENTIALLY the next 3 months, with only emergency cover being provided.
If you have a dental emergency please call 07516 391333 for a telephone assessment.
The practice will only reopen to treat dental emergencies which have been assessed by myself.
As a team, we are doing everything we possibly can to remain fit, well and able to work so that we can continue to provide our usual high standard of dental care for you.
Thank you for your support in keeping everyone safe.
With best wishes,
Dr Nina Khaira

2.50 PM

BREAKING: PM promises help for renters and pledges action on schools ‘imminently’

Boris Johnson has promised to introduce legislation to protect renters from eviction amid the coronavirus pandemic – and said further decisions on schools will be taken “imminently”.

The prime minister said the government was overseeing steps that were “unprecedented in peacetime and unprecedented in the last century” because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This includes advising people to work from home if possible and avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres.


Warrens bakeries open and launching new discount service

Our bakeries remain open and we are obviously taking many extra measures in our health and safety and communications in stores to keep staff and customers safe at this time. We have also put in place a Covid-19, planning team, meeting each day to ensure all teams have regular communication about any new news.

Later today we are launching a new service, offering 30% off any frozen pasties (and other savouries) so if people want to stock up and bake Cornish pasties at home then they can. We’re also adding options to our online home delivery service. Very important to keep the Cornish folks with access to Cornish Pasties if they have to self-isolate!

Hearing aid help for patients

Get Fit Newquay head to the harbour

Pump it!!

Posted by Get Fit Newquay on Monday, March 16, 2020

When their usual venue was closed for their Monday night Zumba and Clubbercise class, they moved to Newquay Harbour (exercising two metres apart from each other!).

When the fishing boats arrived back into the harbour that night, they trained their lights onto the dancers so they could see.

You can’t beat that Cornish community spirit.

Richard Lander update on school closure

The latest statistics

Eurovision cancelled

Newquay Airport calls for government help

Moonlight memory walk postponed

We know how disappointing this news will be to everyone, but in light of the developing situation and uncertainty relating to the Coronavirus pandemic, we feel it is our duty to keep you and all of our volunteers, event participants, wonderful fundraisers and supporters safe.  

New date 

We are really grateful to our friends at Falmouth Town Council who have worked with us to find a new date for the event. The 2020 Moonlight Memory Walk will now take place on Saturday 26 SeptemberWe will transfer your registration and place to this new date so you don’t have to register again.  If you have purchased tickets on behalf of friends and family, please let them know that it has been postponed and the new date.

Please let us know if you are unable to make this new date.  If you cannot join us, we would be so grateful if you would consider your registration fee being treated as a much needed donation to help our children and families. To donate your reg fee and cancel your place simply email with your full name and postcode.

However, if you would prefer this to be refunded, please complete the form on our website.  All refund requests must be received by 30 April 2020.  After this date your registration fee will be treated as a donation.

Walk ‘virtually’
If you would still like to mark the occasion this week you can complete a 5 mile walk with our virtual option. You can walk the 5 mile route around Falmouth (or an alternative 5 mile route of your choice) at a time convenient for you. We will send you a t-shirt, goodie bag and a medal in the post (and if you choose to walk the Falmouth route we can send you route map in advance too). If you decide to walk virtually, please email Kiley so we can send you everything you need.  

If you have raised sponsorship for this year’s memory walk we hope your friends and family will continue to join with you to help children and families at CHSW – sponsoring you to walk virtually or in September when we walk the route together. If you have any questions or concerns about sponsorship money please do get in touch.

Thank you
We are so grateful to you for choosing to be part in this year’s memory walk and hope you will continue to support us during these difficult times, ensuring that we can be there for children and families when they need us.  

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

With best wishes

Sarah Stott
Head of Fundraising, Little Harbour

Merlin Centre closes

Cornwall’s Merlin Centre has closed following government advice over Coronavirus.

The facility provides a comprehensive range of subsidised and affordable therapies for those whose lives are affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The services the charity provides are also available to those with other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Stroke, ME Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

In a statement, the Merlin team said:

“As our service users are vulnerable due to their health conditions and/or age, the official advice is for them to self-isolate for 12 weeks and therefore it is likely the closure period will be for a minimum of three months.

All the staff at Merlin are committed to supporting its service users at this difficult time. Our intention is to provide regular telephone and online contact; delivery of essential shopping, medicines etc where they have no family or other support and through live streaming of the exercise sessions to help people maintain health and well-being, providing the charity can be funded for such activity.

If anyone has any concerns or need support, please contact the Centre on 01726 885530 or via”

PM will do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect workers

Support Cornwall’s NHS with a coffee

Citizens Advice Cornwall releases answers to common questions

Citizens Advice is closing face-to-face drop-in sessions and appointments in Cornwall in response to the national coronavirus outbreak from tomorrow (18 March).

Members of the public who need advice can still contact the service in the alternative ways.

To find out more, or for answers to questions around flights, sick pay and events, see the full story

LATEST FIGURES: 200,000 cases worldwide

Falmouth Uni suspends face-to-face teaching


Pasties price drop to help families

BREAKING: Glastonbury festival cancelled


We are so sorry to announce this, but Glastonbury 2020 will have to be cancelled, and this will be an enforced fallow year for the Festival.

Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week – and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty – this is now our only viable option.

We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June. But even if it has, we are no longer able to spend the next three months with thousands of crew here on the farm, helping us with the enormous job of building the infrastructure and attractions needed to welcome more than 200,000 people to a temporary city in these fields.

We would like to send our sincere apologies to the 135,000 people who have already paid a deposit for a Glastonbury 2020 ticket. The balance payments on those tickets were due at the beginning of April and we wanted to make a firm decision before then.

We understand that it is not always easy to secure a Glastonbury ticket, which is why we would like to offer all those people the chance to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the opportunity to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2021. Those who would prefer a refund of that £50 will be able to contact See Tickets in the coming days in order to secure that. This option will remain available until September this year. For those who are happy to roll their deposit over, that will happen automatically. Further information – including details on rolling over coach packages, official accommodation bookings and local Sunday tickets – will be added to our website in the coming days.

The cancellation of this year’s Festival will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredible crew and volunteers who work so hard to make this event happen. There will also inevitably be severe financial implications as a result of this cancellation – not just for us, but also the Festival’s charity partners, suppliers, traders, local landowners and our community.

We were so looking forward to welcoming you all for our 50th anniversary with a line-up full of fantastic artists and performers that we were incredibly proud to have booked. Again, we’re so sorry that this decision has been made. It was not through choice. But we look forward to welcoming you back to these fields next year and until then, we send our love and support to all of you.

Michael & Emily

Coronavirus hits filming of EastEnders as soap suspended until further notice

The BBC has suspended filming on EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of new EastEnders episodes being shown each week is also being reduced to two.

Filming on all BBC Studios’ continuing dramas has been halted following the latest government advice on tackling COVID-19, the corporation said.


Newquay Airport to remain open with ‘extra measures’

Care provider shortage – can you help?

10.00 AM

Homeschooling my kids during Coronavirus

Cornish Claire’s Video Diary Day 2

Day 2 of Cornish Claire’s Coronavirus Video Diary and she finds herself trying to get her head around English…

9.30 AM

New supermarket rules to stop panic buying

Sainsbury’s is to restrict purchases on all grocery products and shut its cafes and fresh food counters as supermarkets step up their efforts to combat coronavirus panic buying.

Customers will now only be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product.

A cap of two is going to be imposed on the most popular items, such as toilet roll, soap and UHT milk.

Britain’s food retailers have urged households to refrain from hoarding goods after worries about the virus prompted heavy demand for products such as toilet roll and UHT milk.

But they are now taking further steps as the problems continue – with the extent of panic purchasing appearing to widen.

Tesco has suspended all-night opening in big stores and Waitrose drafting in hundreds of extra staff to cope with demand.

Morrisons reported that it had seen a “considerable” degree of stockpiling and urged customers to “just buy what we need”.


8 AM

School Closures In Cornwall

Pirate FM told you how Humphry Davy in Penzance and Hayle Academy made announcements on Tuesday.

Falmouth University has also suspended face-to-face teaching on its campuses.

Now a string of primary and secondary schools have announced further closures across the week.

Current School Closures

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

  • Budehaven School – Year 12 closed
  • Caradon APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Carrick APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Doubletrees School – Class 6 and Post 16 closed
  • Falmouth School – Years 7 and 8 closed
  • Hayle School – open for Years 7 and 11 only
  • Humphry Davy School – open to Year 11 only
  • Kehelland Primary School
  • Nine Maidens APA  Academy – closed to 27 March
  • North Cornwall APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Restormel APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Saltash Community School – Year 10 closed
  • St Mawes Primary School

Thursday, 19 March 2020

  • Caradon APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Carrick APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Falmouth School – Years 7 and 8 closed
  • Nine Maidens APA  Academy – closed to 27 March
  • North Cornwall APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Restormel APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Richard Lander School – Years 9 and 10 closed
  • Saltash Community School – Year 9 closed

Friday, 20 March 2020

  • Caradon APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Carrick APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Falmouth School – Years 7 and 8 closed
  • Nine Maidens APA  Academy – closed to 27 March
  • North Cornwall APA Academy – closed to 27 March
  • Restormel APA Academy – closed to 27 March 
  • Richard Lander School – Years 7 and 8 closed
  • Saltash Community School – Year 8 closed

7.30 AM

Infographic by

INFOGRAPHIC: Hospital beds per 1,000 people in EU countries

 A new study suggests Italy and Germany are more affected due to poorer healthcare.

According to, the results here are ambivalent: it is undoubtedly true that, in Italy, healthcare quality is below average, if judged by the number of hospital beds per thousand people – 3.4. Germany, on the other hand, is at the other end of the rating – with 8.3 beds per thousand inhabitants. 

However, the data by “Worldometer“, shows that the number of deaths in Germany is below average, whereas Italy as at above average – a factor that may suggest that the Italian healthcare system may be overwhelmed.

Read more at:

7.00 AM

Who is most vulnerable to Coronavirus?

Anyone can catch Coronavirus.

However, some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.

This includes:

  • are 70 or over 
  • have a long-term condition, such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease
  • are pregnant 
  • have a weakened immune system 

READ NEXT: How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus

6.00 AM

Welcome to Pirate’s Coronavirus SUPERBLOG!

We’ll be bringing you live updates, local stories and light relief as Cornwall battles Coronavirus.
And don’t miss Cornish Claire’s video diary as she talks us through her experience of living in isolation.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest