March 29, 2020 4.39 pm This story is over 27 months old

Rewind: Lincolnshire coronavirus lockdown week one

Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives

Our coronavirus lockdown coverage has now moved to the week 2 liveblog.

The UK is in coronavirus lockdown until April 13 at least. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the virus but he’ll continue his duties from isolation. Seven deaths after contracting COVID-19 were also recorded in Lincolnshire as the number of positive cases almost doubled.

  • As of Sunday afternoon there were 19,522 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with 1,228 deaths.
  • The number of confirmed COVID-19 in Greater Lincolnshire was 101 on Sunday afternoon, up from 68 on Saturday.
  • There are 72 (up from 53) cases in Lincolnshire, 13 in North Lincolnshire and 16 in North East Lincolnshire.
  • Seven people in Greater Lincolnshire died: 4 in Lincolnshire and 3 in Northern Lincolnshire

If you or someone you know has been affected, email [email protected]

Live blog finished. Updates are displayed chronologically.
23rd March 2020 8:47pm

The full address from the Prime Minister

“Good Evening,

The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades – and this country is not alone.

All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer.

And so tonight I want to update you on the latest steps we are taking to fight the disease and what you can do to help.

And I want to begin by reminding you why the UK has been taking the approach that we have.

Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.

And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger.

To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from Coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.

So it’s vital to slow the spread of the disease.

Because that is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time, so we can protect the NHS’s ability to cope – and save more lives.

And that’s why we have been asking people to stay at home during this pandemic.

And though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more.

From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.

Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.

That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home.

You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No.

You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.

You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.

If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

To ensure compliance with the Government’s instruction to stay at home, we will immediately:

  • close all shops selling non-essential goods,​ including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship;
  • we will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with;
  • and we’ll stop all social events​, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.

Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.

No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this.

I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.

And that’s why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business.

And I can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review. We will look again in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to.

But at present there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost.

And yet it is also true that there is a clear way through.

Day by day we are strengthening our amazing NHS with 7500 former clinicians now coming back to the service.

With the time you buy – by simply staying at home – we are increasing our stocks of equipment.

We are accelerating our search for treatments.

We are pioneering work on a vaccine.

And we are buying millions of testing kits that will enable us to turn the tide on this invisible killer.

I want to thank everyone who is working flat out to beat the virus.

Everyone from the supermarket staff to the transport workers to the carers to the nurses and doctors on the frontline.

But in this fight we can be in no doubt that each and every one of us is directly enlisted.

Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together.

To halt the spread of this disease.

To protect our NHS and to save many many thousands of lives.

And I know that as they have in the past so many times.

The people of this country will rise to that challenge.

And we will come through it stronger than ever.

We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.

And therefore I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.

Thank you.”

23rd March 2020 9:20pm

Gainsborough MP welcomes lockdown measures

23rd March 2020 9:23pm

‘It was inevitable and I’m relieved’

says East Lindsey District Council Leader Craig Leyland 

23rd March 2020 9:39pm

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones on coronavirus lockdown

He welcomed the move but said it is an extra burden on policing 

23rd March 2020 9:43pm

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others


The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.


You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
  • These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
  • These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.

If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school.


Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses – including pubs, cinemas and theatres – to close.

The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:

  • all non-essential retail stores – this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
  • libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities
  • communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
  • places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
  • hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).

To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is also stopping all

public gatherings of more than two people. There are only two exceptions to this rule:

  • where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
  • where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.

In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.


These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus.

Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures.

The Government will therefore be ensuring the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.

They will initially last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

24th March 2020 8:14am

27 coronavirus cases in Lincolnshire 

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Greater Lincolnshire doubled overnight, now standing at 27.

There are 23 cases in Lincolnshire, 3 in North Lincolnshire and one in North East Lincolnshire.

24th March 2020 9:40am

Hospitals appeal for catering and housekeeping staff

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has appealed for temporary staff to help support its catering and housekeeping services.

The trust is looking for additional support at Lincoln County Hospital, Boston Pilgrim Hospital and Grantham and District Hospital.

A spokesperson for ULHT said: “We are seeking people with housekeeping or catering experience. For catering, we would require only people who hold a current food hygiene certificate.
“All roles will be paid at the national living wage and will be appointed through our fast track process.”

People who are interested should e-mail: [email protected]uk

24th March 2020 9:55am

Simpsons Butchers staying open

Local butchers chain Simpsons has announced that it will be keeping open four of its Lincolnshire branches.

Stores in Heckington, Sleaford, Lincoln and Spalding will run as usual, while the South Hykeham branch in Pennells Garden Centre will temporarily close.

Deliveries will also be available via the Simpsons website or call 01529 460403.

24th March 2020 10:10am

Full breakdown of coronavirus closures and exceptions

Non-essential shops and businesses across the UK have been told to shut as part of strict new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

For the next three weeks at least people should stay at home. All non-essential services and shops will be shut and people will be fined if they disobey the rules.

While some industries are absent from the list, the knock on effect will still halt trade for many others. For example, the closure of builders’ merchants on the morning of Tuesday, March 24 will hinder construction for swathes of businesses and workers.

Full list here

24th March 2020 10:26am

Police to fine people up to £1,000 for disobeying lockdown

Lincolnshire Police will have new powers to enforce the lockdown Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced for the next three weeks due to the coronavirus crisis.

The PM said that all non-essential services and shops will be shut and people will be fined if they disobey the rules and leave their home without a good reason. Police will be able to enforce rules, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people.

Anyone caught disobeying these measures could face a fine between £30 and £1,000 from Thursday. This is when a bill containing new legislation to deal with coronavirus is expected to become law.

Kerrin Wilson, Assistant Chief Constable at Lincolnshire Police, said the force has enough officers to deal with this situation. She said: “I fully expect that the people of Lincolnshire will abide by the new restrictions put in place, many already are. We will make sure our officers talk to people, explain, reassure, and support.

“For those in the minority who aren’t listening and who decide that they shouldn’t follow national advice in the midst of this global health crisis, we will have new powers to enforce social distancing. We are working through the exact detail of what that means but these are powers we should not have to use, but will do so if necessary.

“We want people to be responsible, to realise that their actions can put people in danger, and the priority for Lincolnshire Police together with our other emergency service colleagues is to protect the vulnerable and literally save lives.

“We have enough officers to deal with this and we have spent years planning for emergency situations such as this. We will continue to police, we will continue to be there for you. We all signed up to Lincolnshire Police to help save lives. Now is the time for you to help us save lives – stay at home, stay safe. Thank you for your support.”

24th March 2020 11:17am

Earliest UK lockdown finish date could be Easter Monday

The earliest finish date for the coronavirus lockdown on the UK could be in three weeks time, on Easter Monday, April 13.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the country on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday night, March 23.

He said people should stay at home and go out only for strict food and medical necessities, with all non-essential businesses to close or work from home.

From Thursday police will have legal powers to fine people disobeying the rules from £30 to £1,000, and can disperse crowds in public places of more than two people.

The PM said these rules will be reviewed in three weeks, which means it will be the earliest on Easter Monday, April 13.

In the meantime, there is some confusion over which non-essential businesses and services need to close besides the rules laid out by the government, but more clarity is expected throughout the day.

24th March 2020 11:29am

Lincolnshire PCC: Greater penalties needed to deter ‘lockdown rebels’

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner fears fines will not deter the most “hardcore” determined people from breaching lockdown, however, said he was confident Lincolnshire would be “largely compliant.”

Marc Jones said more legislation and prosecution needed to be in place to tackle those undeterred by the fines, but added that he did not want to see police cells filled with people “being utterly stupid.”

Mr Jones told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines he was reassured the force could handle the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in line with its planning.

Officers will initially be giving advice and guidance, however, legislation due out on Thursday is set to give police extra powers, including fining people who breach the lockdown between £30-1,000.

Full story here

24th March 2020 11:46am

City of Lincoln Council closes face-to-face front desk services

The City of Lincoln Council will close its face-to-face customer services until further notice from lunchtime today (Tuesday).

The authority announced the closure of its City Hall facilities on social media as part of its changes to services in the face of coronavirus.

It follows in the footsteps of other authorities including South Kesteven District, Boston Borough and East Lindsey District councils.

Instead residents will have to email [email protected] or call 01522 873 461 or 01522 873374.

For details of further service changes visit

24th March 2020 11:49am

Limit for contactless payments to rise from £30 to £45 at the beginning of April

Retailers say changes are designed to cut the need for contact but may take time to be implemented everywhere.
There’s no limit on the amount a customer can spend when using Apple Pay, but some retailers put their own ceiling in place.

24th March 2020 11:54am

Free workout videos to fight off self-isolation boredom

A gym owner in Lincoln is sharing online fitness tips with people to help combat coronavirus isolation blues.

Lee Kilby, owner of Energie Fitness Lincoln City is releasing a series of free videos via a Facebook group to help people in the city keep fit.

Read the full story here

24th March 2020 12:12pm

NHS plea for more blood donors

NHS Blood and Transplant in Lincolnshire have asked for more people to give blood.

This comes after news of a 15% drop in blood donors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sessions will take place at Lincoln County Hospital on April 10 and April 13, with appointments available online.

For more information on how to book an appointment, visit

24th March 2020 1:26pm

A message from all Lincolnshire MPs


From: Gareth Davies MP, Matt Warman MP, Victoria Atkins MP, Sir Edward Leigh MP, Sir John Hayes MP, Karl McCartney MP, Dr. Caroline Johnson MP

The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. It calls for decisive action at home and abroad, of the kind not normally seen in peacetime.

The Government is acting to tackle the pandemic and mitigate the impact. Every part of Government is being mobilised to defend our people and our country, businesses, councils and communities across Lincolnshire are coming together to help in this national effort.

The overriding objective is to save lives, protect our most vulnerable and support the NHS so it can help those who need it the most. Our science-led action plan is delivering to contain, delay, research and mitigate the outbreak. Our world-leading scientists continue their work to understand the virus and we are now attempting to delay its spread to minimise harm. Everyone will need to help to ensure people get the support they need to stay at home. This will mean we can protect our NHS and save thousands of lives.

As your local MPs we are here to help in any way we can at this very difficult time. Each of us have received an unprecedented amount of correspondence and together with our staff we are prioritising those constituents in most need. We are also making sure that your experiences are represented to the highest levels of government.

While we as MPs are doing everything we can to help, we all have a part to play during this challenging time, and there are three ways in particular that you can help:

1. Follow Government Guidance: The best way to halt the virus is to stop it spreading. You can help do this by social distancing. Wherever possible, you must work from home, do not socialise or engage with other people and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

2. Shop responsibly: Do not stockpile. There is enough food for everyone so long as everyone behaves responsibly. Please just remember that the people who are working to save lives and help others need to eat too, so keep this in mind the next time you go shopping.

3. Stay calm: It is of course natural to be concerned about the outbreak but most people who develop the virus will only experience mild symptoms.

Guided by the best scientific advice, with the government’s clear action plan and through looking out for each other we will get through this, together.

24th March 2020 2:52pm

Lincolnshire supermarkets braced for lockdown shoppers

Supermarkets across Lincolnshire are getting ready for lockdown shoppers with measures and restrictions in place, including product limits and the recruitment of additional staff.

See our useful guide to measures at major supermarkets to help you shop efficiently.

24th March 2020 3:24pm

Uphill Lincoln streets empty amid lockdown

Lincoln’s coronavirus lockdown measures have resulted in eerily quiet scenes across the city, with people appearing to finally take lockdown seriously.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to only leave their houses for essential work and supply runs, and for distanced exercise once a day, in his COVID-19 announcement on Monday, March 23.

It looks like Lincoln is finally getting the message.

See the full gallery here

24th March 2020 3:38pm

Anguish as Lincoln NHS workers stranded in the Philippines

Two healthcare assistants from Lincoln County Hospital have described their desperation after they became stranded in the Philippines, unable to get back to help with the coronavirus crisis in the UK.

Amy Petts, 30, and her boyfriend Jonathan Emboltorio, 28, travelled out to visit his family with two friends, including an NHS worker for the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Now, they face being cut off from their home and from the UK relief effort, or a payout of £2,000 each for new flights.

Read the full story here

24th March 2020 3:53pm

Visiting suspended at Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals

Visiting will be suspended at Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals as health bosses look to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust will suspend visits as of tomorrow (March 25) unless it is in exceptional circumstances.

Only visits for a patient nearing end of life, one birthing partner or one parent visiting a child will be allowed.

Read the story here

24th March 2020 4:05pm

UK death toll reaches 422

The number of people who tested positive for coronavirus has increased by 87.

422 people have died across the UK and 8,077 cases have been confirmed.

24th March 2020 4:23pm

Lincoln Grand Prix postponed

The Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix has been postponed as a result of coronavirus.

The annual bike race fell victim to the new measures placed by British cycling’s governing body; suspending all events until June 30 in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It has taken place every year since it began in 1956, but will now be rescheduled for the weekend of August 15-16.

The event was supposed to take place on Sunday, May 10 but has been pushed back to ensure it can still go ahead.

The new updated schedule will be as follows:

  • Bike Night – August 15
  • Lincoln GP Sportive – August 15
  • Newells Michaelgate Hill Dash – August 15
  • Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix – August 16

24th March 2020 4:53pm

Health Secretary calls for 250,000 volunteers to help fight coronavirus

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has called for 250,000 volunteers to join the NHS to help fight coronavirus.

Those who join will help with shopping and delivery of medicines and would need to be in good health.

Mr Hancock said the scheme is designed to help support local health services.

He added that the call last week for former NHS staff to return to the health service has “so far being successful”.

Some 5,500 final year medics and 18,700 final years nurses will move to the front line following the appeal.

Meanwhile, Mr Hancock confirmed that the UK’s death toll had increased by 87.

It means 422 people have died across the UK and 8,077 cases have been confirmed positive.

The Health Secretary reiterated Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s order last night for people to stay in their homes after putting the country into lockdown.

He said: “These steps are not requests, they are rules.”

24th March 2020 5:06pm

More lockdown clarity needed

People are calling for more clarity on the latest lockdown rules that appear to still be causing some confusion during the coronavirus crisis.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday evening that for the next three weeks at least people should stay at home, but some areas of the city still seemed busy on Tuesday.

Full story here

24th March 2020 5:31pm

9 COVID-19 hospital patients

Nine patients who have tested positive for coronavirus are being treated at Lincolnshire’s hospitals, trust bosses have confirmed.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said four people are being treated at Boston Pilgrim Hospital and five at Lincoln County Hospital.

A trust spokesperson said: “Every infection prevention precaution is being taken, including caring for these patients in isolation.”

Full story here

25th March 2020 8:17am

9 new cases in Greater Lincolnshire 

A total of 36 cases as of Wednesday morning 

  • 5 new in Lincolnshire, now 28
  • 2 new in North Lincolnshrire, now 5
  • 2 new in North East Lincolnshire, now 3

25th March 2020 9:55am

Vehicle owners to be granted MoT exemption

  • Cars, motorcycles and vans to be granted MoT exemption
  • This will allow people to carry on with essential travel
  • Vehicles must be kept in roadworthy condition
  • Vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.

All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles. Advice on keeping a vehicle in a good condition can be found here.

People should stay at home and avoid travel. The only reasons people should leave their homes is set out in the government guidance.

Legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.

If you can’t get an MoT that’s due because you’re in self-isolation, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to ensure people aren’t unfairly penalised for things out of their control.

Practical driving tests and annual testing for lorries, buses and coaches have been suspended for up to three months.

Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

From today (25 March 2020), businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts.

This joint initiative between the government and Companies House will mean businesses can prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus.

There are approximately 4.3 million businesses on the Companies House register, and all companies must submit their accounts and reports each year. Under normal circumstances, companies that file accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty.

As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

25th March 2020 10:31am

170,000 volunteer for NHS in less than 24 hours

More than 170,000 people have signed up to support the NHS in the fight against coronavirus following an appeal from Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday.

Mr Hancock called for an army of volunteers to help with shopping and delivery of medicine in order to help local health services.

In a tweet, he said he was “delighted” that so many have signed up overnight to be an NHS Volunteer Responder.

You can sign up to be a volunteer here.

25th March 2020 11:16am

Palace hotel becomes free Lincoln NHS worker coronavirus refuge

A 16-bed boutique hotel in the uphill area of Lincoln will house NHS staff for free in an attempt to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The Old Palace Lodge Hotel was opened up to support staff who needed to self-isolate away from their family members between shifts.

The first NHS staff are moving in on Wednesday, March 25.

Read the full story here

25th March 2020 11:22am

Ambulance crews keeping up morale with pre-shift dance

An ambulance crew in Grantham kept morale up during the coronavirus pandemic with a pre-night shift dance, whilst urging people to stay at home.

Karen Armstrong posted the light-hearted video on social media of four of the crew dancing outside an ambulance and performing the actions to the famous song Cha Cha Slide.

25th March 2020 12:12pm

Council cancels markets following backlash

East Lindsey District Council has taken the decision to cancel its markets following a backlash from social media users.

The authority, along with others across Greater Lincolnshire, had originally made the decision to go ahead as food and grocery stalls are counted as “essential” under the government’s lockdown guidance.

However, many residents hit out at authorities keeping their markets open, accusing them of increasing risk to residents and encouraging people to breach the lockdown.

Full story here

25th March 2020 1:23pm

How councils are keeping residents informed

Lincolnshire County Council has launched a new website in a bid to keep the county informed of its latest activities to tackle coronavirus.

The website details how all of its services have been affected by the virus.

The authority joins all other Greater Lincolnshire councils in doing the same thing.

Full story here

25th March 2020 3:07pm

Business creates coronavirus sneeze shields

A local business in Lincoln has launched tabletop sneeze guards for shops and stores across the county to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Your Print Partner designed the sneeze shields to go atop shop tills and protect shopkeepers from any germs that may be contracted.

This is done through the use of a perspex screen inside a cardboard base, with a slot at the bottom to allow for regular scanning of items.

The screens retail at £24.99. More in the story here.

25th March 2020 3:47pm

Lincoln City Foundation stop all deliveries

Lincoln City Football Club’s Foundation has today announced that it will be stopping all deliveries to schools as a result of the coronavirus.

The foundation team said: “In our 25 year history we have not faced this kind of decision but in this time we need to put our staff at the forefront.”

“We are working with schools to support them at this critical time for the country but with our staff moving between schools this goes against recent advice.”

25th March 2020 3:50pm

Figures reveal Lincolnshire’s vulnerable over-70 population

Government figures have revealed the percentage of the over-70 population in Greater Lincolnshire who are at greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that East Lindsey has the highest population percentage of elderly residents with 21.4%.

See the full breakdown and maps here

25th March 2020 3:54pm

Death toll increases after Scotland and Wales rise

The UK death toll has reached 437 after an increase in deaths in Scotland and Wales today (March 25).

Six more fatalities were confirmed in Scotland, while Wales announced a further five coronavirus deaths.

NHS England has yet to release its figures for today.

25th March 2020 4:27pm

Council crackdown as takeaways neglect social distancing rules

South Kesteven District Council is cracking down on an influx of restaurants, pubs and cafes taking advantage of new government regulations relaxing takeaway and delivery laws.

Under the changes, food businesses adapting to the latest coronavirus safety measures can offer those services.

Council bosses, however, said this had led to people gathering in groups as they queued to get food or drink and using outdoor seating areas.

See the enforcement rules here

25th March 2020 5:05pm

Free car parking at Lincolnshire hospitals

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) has announced that all car parking at its facilities will become free for visitors and staff.

Anyone visiting Lincoln, Boston or Grantham hospitals will be allowed to use any parking spaces on the site free of charge from Thursday, March 26

Facilities will be free for staff as of Wednesday, April 1 until at least Friday, July 31.

This comes alongside news that NHS and social care workers are also now eligible for free car parking in council owned car parks and on street parking bays.

Disabled parking bays will still be reserved for blue badge permit holders.

25th March 2020 5:16pm

405,000 volunteers sign up to support NHS as PM lines up self-employed plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that more than 405,000 volunteers have signed up to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Those who have signed up will be bringing patients home from hospitals, driving medicines to patients and phoning those who are unwell.

It follows an appeal from Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday for 250,000 volunteers to join the NHS to fight the virus.

You can sign up to be a volunteer here.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson confirmed that Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will unveil plans to help support self-employed people tomorrow (March 26).

The government has already announced measures to support employees and businesses across the country, but has yet to reassure those who work for themselves.

Earlier today (March 25), the UK coronavirus death toll reached 437.

Six more fatalities were confirmed in Scotland, while Wales announced a further five coronavirus deaths.

NHS England has yet to release its figures for today.

26th March 2020 7:44am

Three new coronavirus cases in Lincolnshire

The number of positive coronavirus cases in Lincolnshire has increased to 31.

It takes the total number of positive cased in Greater Lincolnshire to 39.

Five cases have been confirmed in North Lincolnshire, while North East Lincolnshire has three.

Health bosses at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust confirmed that at least nine patients who tested positive for COVID-19 are being treated at both Lincoln County Hospital and Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

The UK’s death toll increased to 463 yesterday (March 25), with 9,529 tested positive.

It represents the biggest increase in the number of cases with a rise of 1,542.

26th March 2020 11:06am

Further businesses and premises to close

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance on Friday 20 March. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Parks will remain open but only for individuals and households to exercise once a day. Communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and football pitches will be closed.

All businesses and premises outlined here must now close

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.

Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational.

This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.

Businesses are encouraged to take orders online or by telephone, and businesses should not provide seating areas, indoors and outdoors, for customers to consume food and drink on. Ordering in advance is strongly encouraged to avoid waiting in, as per Public Health England guidelines.

Planning regulation has been changed to enable restaurants, cafés and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. The legislation can be accessed online.

People must not consume food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafés or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food.

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit.

26th March 2020 11:33am

Police stop teens drinking in Hykeham park

A group of teenagers who were spotted drinking in a park in North Hykeham were split up by police last night.

Hykeham Police reported on their Facebook page that they were attending a gathering of 10 young people at Millennium Lake last night (Wednesday, March 25).

It was believed that a group of teenagers were drinking cider around the park, ignoring social distancing and lockdown rules.

As per the latest laws on the coronavirus outbreak, police can now fine people for being outside the house for non-essential purposes.

Emma Chapman, who lives nearby, took a photo of abandoned drinks tins at the park.

She said: “Really sad to see this round the lake this evening. Sad because of the blatant littering, sad because of the danger to wildlife and sad/angry to hear from the PCSO I saw moments later that she was trying to find the 12 idiot teenagers who had been gathered there!”

26th March 2020 12:05pm

Vulnerable to get council tax relief

Greater Lincolnshire councils will reduce tax bills for vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the government’s £500 million hardship financial package, those who struggle to pay their council tax bills will receive support.

As part of the government package, those who currently receive council tax support from their local authority will see an automatic discount of up to £150.

Read more here

26th March 2020 12:17pm

Business levy continues

Lincoln’s Business Improvement Group won’t be dropping its levy on local businesses – however, bosses say the income will go towards protecting the future of Lincoln High Street.

Read more here

26th March 2020 3:21pm

Lincolnshire woman with coronavirus locked in ant-infested room in India

A Gainsborough woman who tested positive for coronavirus is stranded in dirty conditions in a locked ant-infested hospital room in India, with her family urging the government to take action.

Jane Jackson, 64, who is originally from Gainsborough and now lives in Northamptonshire, went out to Kerala in India on March 5 with a tour group of 15-20 people to teach English in some schools out there. She was due to fly home on on March 19, but this was not possible.

Read the full story here

26th March 2020 3:22pm

Lincoln potato supplier recruiting for temp jobs

Branston, the Lincoln-based potato supplier, is offering temporary jobs to bolster its workforce amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The company have created new roles specifically for the increased demand of potatoes, including team leaders and machine operatives or drivers.

More information here

26th March 2020 3:24pm

UK death toll rises to 477

The death toll for coronavirus in the UK increased to 477 today (March 26).

Officials in Scotland announced that three more patients who tested positive have died, while in Wales six people with COVID-19 have died.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland recorded a further three fatalities.

NHS England has yet to release its figures for today.

26th March 2020 3:25pm

Businesses offered £10k grant

Businesses in Lincoln affected by the coronavirus outbreak can now sign up for a £10,000 grant.

City of Lincoln Council has offered the grant to small businesses as part of government support amid the pandemic. It comes as many companies across Lincolnshire have lost income or being forced to close due to the virus.

Read more here

26th March 2020 3:29pm

Councils get more powers to deal with coronavirus deaths

Local authorities have been given more powers to deal with a possible increase in coronavirus deaths.

The government’s Coronavirus Bill gives councils the ability to take control of the death management process if scientific advice shows that the number of people who die from COVID-19 is likely to “significantly exceed” local capacity.

It includes giving councils the power to:

  • Extend crematorium operating hours
  • Ask companies to use their vehicles to move bodies
  • Directing others, not directly involved in the funeral sector, to provide necessary support

Read more here

26th March 2020 4:08pm

Lincolnshire County Council childrens’ centres close due to reduced demand

Lincolnshire County Council has closed all but nine of its children’s centres until further notice.

The authority said demand had “significantly reduced” because of the current situation with coronavirus and the move would enable midwifes to offer appointments away from hospitals.

Those remaining open are:

  • Lincoln Central
  • Birchwood
  • Sleaford
  • Grantham Swingsbridge
  • Bourne
  • Spalding
  • Boston Norfolk Lodge
  • Mablethorpe
  • Skegness

The authority added the situation would be reviewed.

26th March 2020 4:36pm

CPS warns ‘coronavirus coughs’ towards key workers will be charged as assault

The Crown Prosecution Service has warned that anyone using coronavirus to threaten emergency and key workers will face serious criminal charges.

Police, shop workers and vulnerable groups have reported been deliberately coughed at by people claiming to have COVID-19, which has prompted intervention by the CPS.

Coughs directed as a threat could be charged as common assault. Assaults specifically against emergency workers are punishable by up to 12 months in prison.

Read more here

26th March 2020 4:38pm

Lincoln businesses affected by coronavirus offered £10k grant

Businesses in Lincoln affected by the coronavirus outbreak can now sign up for a £10,000 grant. City of Lincoln Council has offered the grant to small businesses as part of government support amid the pandemic. 

It comes as many companies across Lincolnshire have lost income or being forced to close due to the virus. The funding is expected to be available by April 1, 2020.

You can find out if your business is eligible and apply for the grant by filling out this form

26th March 2020 4:40pm

How businesses are observing social distancing

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing lockdown across the UK, businesses in Lincoln have been adopting their own ways of enforcing social distancing.

See the full gallery

26th March 2020 4:47pm

New police powers and fines to enforce lockdown

Police will now be able to enforce lockdown rules after new powers were introduced by the government.

Under the measures, officers will be able to hand anyone breaking lockdown rules a £60 fine.

The powers, which were passed under emergency legislation at Westminster, are designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

For those who break the rules, it means police can:

  • Instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse;
  • Ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the rules;
  • Issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days;
  • Issue a fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence.

26th March 2020 5:25pm

Self-employed to be paid up to 80% of incomes for three months

Self-employed people will be paid 80% of their incomes, up to £2,500 a month, for three months, under plans unveiled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Rishi Sunak moved to reassure those in self-employment that they “haven’t been forgotten” amid the coronavirus crisis.

The measures announced by Mr Sunak include:

  • Taxable grant to cover 80% of profits for three months
  • Open to those with trading profits up to £50,000
  • Covers average profits for the last three years

The plan will only be open to people who have a tax return for 2019 and is expected to start at the beginning of June.

Mr Sunak said around 95% of those in self-employment will be helped by the proposals.

He added that people will be able to apply for Universal Credit in order to cover their finances until they are paid the grant.

It was revealed earlier this week that nearly 500,000 people across the UK have claimed for Universal Credit since last Monday.

Mr Sunak added that self-employed people will also be able to apply for the previously announced Business Interruption Loan.

HMRC will contact those who are eligible for the grants.

The move to help the self-employed follows a £330 billion financial stimulus introduced by the Chancellor.

It includes a Coronavirus business interruption scheme, as well as other grants to help small business.

The government also said it will pay 80% of wages to employees affected by COVID-19.

As previously reported, City of Lincoln Council has offered small businesses in the city affected by coronavirus a £10,000 grant.

26th March 2020 8:12pm

Coronavirus deaths reach 584 after rise of 119

The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK has increased by 119 to 584 in 24 hours.

The number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK now stands at 11,658.

26th March 2020 9:39pm

Lincoln Cathedral turns blue as Lincolnshire pays tribute to NHS

27th March 2020 8:51am

Friday morning update

  • There are now 43 COVID-19 cases in Greater Lincolnshire
  • 32 in Lincolnshire (1 new)
  • 6 in North Lincolnshire (1 new)
  • 5 in North East Lincolnshire (2 new)

Tony McGinty, Consultant in Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, told The Lincolnite that more than 100 people are awaiting coronavirus test results at the moment.

The tests take around 48 hours and they are done through throat swabs. Testing is not done in the community, but only in hospitals and other health settings.

Mr McGinty also said that it would take at least a week to see if the lockdown measures slowed the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

27th March 2020 10:24am

Online police portal to report isolation gatherings

Humberside Police has created an online portal for people to report gatherings of people during the coronavirus lockdown.

Police will now be able to enforce lockdown rules after new powers were introduced by the government. Under the measures, officers will be able to hand anyone breaking lockdown rules a £60 fine, as well as being able to disperse anyone in groups of more than two people.

Read more here

27th March 2020 10:25am

Lincolnites provide isolation joy

Isolation can be a dark place, but people in Lincoln are bringing light into each other’s homes by sharing music and creativity.

In some households, usual leisure and socialising activities have been replaced with music video making, dance and art for the neighbours to enjoy.

27th March 2020 10:33am

Network Rail calls for former Lincolnshire signallers

Network Rail has launched an appeal for former professional signallers in Lincolnshire to work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Workers will be required to operate signal boxes and control centres for train tracks to ensure they can stay running 24/7 for vital services.

The appeal has gone out directly to people who are retired signallers or those who moved to other careers in the railway industry.

Any former professional signallers who want to apply should email [email protected]

27th March 2020 11:18am

Firefighters help with coronavirus care and casualties

Firefighters across the UK have been given new responsibilities to help tackle coronavirus, including delivering vital medication, driving ambulances and transporting the bodies of those who lose their lives.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU), fire chiefs and other employers have agreed a joint approach in response to the national crisis.

Although firefighters will continue to respond to core emergencies, they will also be able to:

  • Deliver essential items like food and medicines to vulnerable people
  • Drive ambulances and assist ambulance staff
  • Retrieve fatalities, should the outbreak cause mass casualties

27th March 2020 11:36am

Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19 after developing a “temperature and persistent cough.”

He confirmed the news himself with a video posted on Twitter. He wrote: “Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.

“I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.”

27th March 2020 1:15pm

PM Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for coronavirus and in self-isolation

Boris Johnson, who is 55, is believed to be the first world leader with COVID-19. He was tested after experiencing mild symptoms of a cough and fever on Thursday afternoon. He will remain in self-isolation for at least seven days.

Matt Hancock, who is 41, announced later that he has tested positive for coronavirus too. “Thankfully my symptoms are mild, and I’m working from home and self-isolating,” he tweeted.

The PM will not hold his daily press conferences while he is ill. Instead, Boris Johnson will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days from his girlfriend and fiancé Carrie Symonds, 32, who is currently pregnant, The Sun reports.

27th March 2020 2:25pm

National COVID-19 update: Coronavirus deaths rise by 182 to 766

27th March 2020 3:28pm

First Lincolnshire patient dies after contracting coronavirus

A woman in her 80s being treated at Boston Pilgrim Hospital is the first in Lincolnshire to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

The patient died on Thursday, March 26, an NHS statement said. Their family has been informed.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said the woman had underlying health conditions.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with her family at this difficult and distressing time,” the trust added.

A further 168 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 689.

Patients were aged between 29 and 98 years old and all but four patients (aged between 82 and 91 years old) had underlying health conditions.

There were at least nine people with coronavirus treated at Lincolnshire’s hospitals, with five in Lincoln and four in Boston.

27th March 2020 5:19pm

Chief Constable seeking to reassure people

27th March 2020 5:20pm

Lincolnshire County Council update on day 4 of lockdown

28th March 2020 10:53am

Saturday morning update

  • 14,543 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with 766 deaths
  • 50 COVID-19 cases in Greater Lincolnshire on Saturday morning
  • 39 cases in Lincolnshire, 6 in North Lincolnshire and 5 in North East Lincolnshire

28th March 2020 11:49am

Coronavirus testing rolled out for frontline NHS staff

Frontline NHS staff will start being tested this weekend to see whether they have coronavirus.

Workers with symptoms or those who live with people who have symptoms will be checked – starting with critical care doctors and nurses.

It follows criticism over a lack of testing for health workers.

28th March 2020 12:19pm

People observing social distancing while shopping

Shoppers in Lincolnshire have been observing social distancing rules this week, queuing with plenty of space for one another. Despite the very long queues for essentials, people waiting outside Asda appeared to keep their distance, and their patience. See the story here.

Also, with some markets going ahead on Saturday, it appears they are keeping their space too.

28th March 2020 12:31pm

Eerily quiet at Lincoln A&E despite coronavirus crisis

No queues whatsoever at Lincoln County Hospital A&E on Friday night at around 7.30pm, when Billie-jo Shaw attended, and she was the only person waiting to be admitted (for non-coronavirus related matters).

28th March 2020 2:10pm

Coronavirus UK deaths rise by 260 – total 1,019

Another 260 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total to 1,019.

28th March 2020 2:32pm

Six people died after contracting coronavirus in Greater Lincolnshire

The first patient died on Thursday at Boston Pilgrim Hospital, a woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions, and the death was announced on Friday.

On Saturday a further five COVID-19 deaths were recorded in Greater Lincolnshire during Friday, March 27.

Three United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) patients died, but no specific locations were made available.

“The patients were all women between the ages of 65 and 80 and all had underlying health conditions,” ULHT said in a statement.

“Their families have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.”

A further two people died in the care of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust hospitals (Grimsby and Scunthorpe).

28th March 2020 4:05pm

UK coronavirus cases rise to 17,089

Announced in the government daily briefing at 4pm

Earlier in the day, the total number of COVID-19 deaths was 1,019

28th March 2020 5:31pm

Saturday evening local update

There are now 68 cases of coronavirus in Greater Lincolnshire

  • 53 (up from 39) cases in Lincolnshire
  • 7 (up 1) in North Lincolnshire and
  • 8 (up 3) in North East Lincolnshire

Six people in Greater Lincolnshire died

  • 4 in Lincolnshire
    • 1 on Thursday in Boston, woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions
    • 3 more deaths in Friday, aged 65-80 with underlying health conditions
  • 2 in Northern Lincolnshire on Friday

29th March 2020 2:16pm

UK coronavirus cases rise to 19,522

As of 9am on Sunday, March 29, a total of 19,522 people in the UK had tested positive for coronavirus. 

Some 127,737 people have been tested in total. 

As of 5pm on March 28, of those hospitalised in the UK, a total of 1,228 have died. 

Of these, one of the deaths was in Northern Lincolnshire, where the total is now 3.

NHS England said patients were aged between 39 and 105 years old and all but 4 patients (aged between 57 and 87 years old) had underlying health conditions.

29th March 2020 4:38pm

Sunday afternoon update

101 coronavirus cases in Greater Lincolnshire

  • 72 in Lincolnshire (up from 53)
  • 16 in North East Lincolnshire (up from 8)
  • 13 in North Lincolnshire (up fr0m 7)

7 COVID-19 deaths in Greater Lincolnshire

  • 4 in Lincolnshire
  • all women aged 65-80 with underlying health conditions
  • 3 in Northern Lincolnshire

19,522 UK cases, 1,228 deaths