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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, April 9

The ongoing coronavirus situation is changing by the hour with announcements being made about businesses and services that are being forced to adapt and change.

Punchline is committed to trying to keep you up to date with all the news that matters to you and your business.

Our team will update this story throughout the day, to ensure the latest important developments can be found in one - clickbait free - place.

If you or your business has any news, views or advice to share with the Gloucestershire business community, get in touch with Punchline team at news@moosemarketingandpr.co.uk.

Friday, April 9

Update #8584 - 10.34 House prices reach record high

House prices in the UK hit a new high in March according to new figures from mortgage lender Halifax.

The 1.1 per cent rise compared with the previous month - the first since November - took the average house price to £254,606.

That rise puts the average price around £15,000 above the level at the start of the pandemic a year ago.

The Stamp Duty holiday and a shortage of properties on the market are believed to be behind the continuing rise although Halifax said it expected growth to slow by the end of the year.

Update #8583 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 126,980 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 53 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 3,030 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,370,321 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 31,807,124 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of April 7 and 5,683,509 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,360, as of Thursday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 950.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,349 cases (increase of one)

Cheltenham - 3,737 cases (increase of three)

Stroud - 3,738 cases (increase of two)

Tewkesbury - 2,909 cases (increase of four)

Forest of Dean - 3,085 cases (increase of one)

Cotswold - 2,542 cases (increase of one)

Thursday, April 10

Update #8582 - 12.20 Morrisons check out end for plastic bags

Morrisons will phase out all plastic carrier bags from its UK shops in the next year.

The supermarket chain, which operates almost 500 outlets across the country, said it would replace them with a paper alternative after a successful trial last year.

The change will start in Scotland this month with England and Wales following suit in the next 12 months.

According to the supermarket, the removal of the reusable plastic bags for life will save 3,200 tonnes of plastic each year.

Update #8581 - 12.15 Final farewell sale for Debenhams

Debenhams will reopen its remaining shops for a final clearance sale when the relaxation of lockdown restrictions allow non-essential retailers to open from Monday.

Gloucester's branch is among the 97 countries listed on the retailer's website with permanent closures due to take place throughout the first two weeks of May.

The Debenhams brand and website was sold out of administration to online retailer Boohoo at the start of the year.

The Gloucester shop has been bought by the University of Gloucestershire to develop a city centre campus.

Debenhams was running a closing down sale for existing stock when the current lockdown was introduced at the start of the year.

Update #8580 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 126,927 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 45 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 2,763 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,367,291 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 31,707,594 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of April 6 and 5,683,509 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,348, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 950.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,348 cases (increase of four)

Cheltenham - 3,734 cases (increase of three)

Stroud - 3,736 cases (no change)

Tewkesbury - 2,905 cases (no change)

Forest of Dean - 3,084 cases (no change)

Cotswold - 2,541 cases (increase of one) 

Wednesday, April 7

Update #8579 - 15.45 Lockdown lifting on driving lessons

Driving lessons will be allowed in England and Wales from Monday as part the latest relaxation of coronavirus restriction.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the return with driving tests resuming 10 days later.

Learners, instructors and examiners should wear face coverings with at least window on each side of the vehicle kept open.

Tests, which can now be booked online, will take place on weekends and bank holidays to enable as many as possible to go ahead safely.

Update #8578 - 11.41 Poundland plans new branches

Poundland plans to open up to 30 new shops across the UK and Ireland by the end of September.

The discount retailer has remained open throughout lockdown, but said 55 outlets which have been shut will reopen next week when non-essential retailers are also allowed to open.

The new shops are expected to create 250 more jobs on top of 400 new positions in the last year.

Update #8577 - 11.39 Car sales rise ahead of reopening

New car sales in the UK increased in March - driven by demand for new year number plates.

According to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, almost 284,000 vehicles were sold during the month compared to 255,000 a year ago at the start of the pandemic - a rise of 11.5 per cent.

But the figure remained 37 per cent below pre-pandemic levels with sales across the first three months of the year down 60,000.

Car dealers in England are able to reopen from Monday as part of the next step on the Government's roadmap to recovery.

Update #8576 - 11.36 Sun brings out more shoppers

Warmer weather helped increase retail footfall in the UK increase by 8.5 per cent last week on the previous seven days.

Numbers were 68.1 per cent higher than the same period last year - in the early days of lockdown - but were 57.3 per cent below those of 2019.

High streets saw nine per cent more visitors last week than the previous seven days with retail parks up 9.7 per cent and shopping centres 6.3 per cent.

Update #8575 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 126,882 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 20 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 2,379 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,364,529 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 31,622,367 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of April 5 and 5,496,716 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,340, as of Monday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 950.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,344 cases (increase of three)

Cheltenham - 3,731 cases (increase of two)

Stroud - 3,736 cases (increase of one)

Tewkesbury - 2,905 cases (no change)

Forest of Dean - 3,084 cases (increase of one)

Cotswold - 2,540 cases (no change)

Tuesday, April 6

Update #8574 - 13.07 Gloucestershire town named as UK's strongest local economy

The last 12 months have been unpredictable, to say the least. With high streets being forced to shut - then hurriedly reopen under strict conditions - then shut again, it's been an incredibly challenging time for the economy.

But research from UK savings marketplace Raisin has revealed that one Gloucestershire town comes first when it looked at which British towns, cities and regions have a strong local economy and ability to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tewkesbury hit the top spot, based on a mix of birth rates, employability and business prosperity.

SEE MORE  

Update #8573 - 13.05 Unions hit out at 'miserly' 50p increase in Statutory Sick Pay

A 50p-per-week increase in Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) has been criticised by unions as "miserly".

SSP has increased from £95.85 to £96.35, but unions including the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Unite say it is too little to live on, according to the BBC.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "No-one should be plunged into hardship if they need to self-isolate."

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says the UK has one of the lowest Statutory Sick Pay rates of any developed country, as a proportion of the average worker's earnings. However, its coverage lasts longer than in most European nations.

READ MORE  

Update #8572 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 126,862 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 26 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 2,762 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 4,362,150 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 31,581,623 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of April 4 and 5,432,126 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,333 as of Monday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 950.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,341 cases

Cheltenham - 3,729 cases

Stroud - 3,735 cases

Tewkesbury - 2,905 cases

Forest of Dean - 3,083 cases

Cotswold - 2,540 cases

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