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How will coronavirus affect our daily lives?

By Mark Andrews | Features | Published:

What impact will the coronavirus pandemic have on our daily lives? Here we look at how it is affecting six key areas:

The Who – tour cancelled

Entertainment

Sophie Eades of the independent Orbit community cinema in Wellington, Telford, said there had been no impact on ticket sales so far.

"We have had a lot of sell-out screenings, and we have got Michael Ball and Alfie Boe doing live cinema at the end of March, and already people are booking tickets for that," she says, adding that the cinema would continue to monitor the situation.

Theatre Severn - remaining open

"We are seeking advice from the UK Cinema Association that we are members of, and we get regular updates," she says.

Shrewsbury's Theatre Severn, Wolverhampton Grand, Birmingham Hippodrome and Alexandra theatres say they have no plans to cancel any shows. Rock band The Who was due to appear in Birmingham on April 20, but has cancelled the tour.

Education

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Wolverhampton University says it has been holding regular planning meetings, and is closely monitoring the national situation and advice from the Government.

Communications manager Mags Winthrop says it has set up a dedicated internet page wlv.ac.uk/coronavirus which will be updated regularly in line with advice from Public Health England.

University of Wolverhampton

"We are in touch with other universities to ensure we are all sharing best practice and liaising with our local councils for our campuses and health partner sites regarding the situation for advice and guidance," she says.

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At the moment there are no plans to close any schools in the region, but the ContinU Plus Academy in Kidderminster closed for a single day on February 26, but reopened after a deep clean.

Khalsa Academy in Ettingshall, Wolverhampton, took a similar action.

Travel

Dave Parry, managing director of Parry International Tours in Cheslyn Hay, near Cannock, says bookings are down 75 per cent for its coach tours over the past fortnight.

"Bookings have now stopped, people just don't want to travel," he says.

People walk by a departures monitor at the Rome Leonardo da Vinci International Airport displaying cancellations

"We had really good bookings up to a couple of weeks ago, but since then the spread of the virus has worried everyone, particularly our demographic age group, which is mainly older people." Mr Parry said Italy was one of the company's biggest tour destinations, but had been forced to cancel tours.

Waterworld leisure park in Stoke-on-Trent says it is using a cocktail of anti-bacterial chemicals to keep the virus at bay.

Pubs and restaurants

Ollie Ledger, manager of the Shrewsbury Arms in Albrighton, says he is not overly concerned at this stage, although there has been a drop in lunchtime trade.

"Things are still pretty much in the air, I don't think anybody knows what is going on," he says.

"A lot of our customers are the elderly, and I have noticed a decrease in their numbers recently.

"Our weekends are still busy, it's our lunchtimes that have been a bit quieter.

Landlord Jon Brown outside the Golden Lion in High Street, Bridgnorth

"I would be concerned if they go ahead with closing all the businesses, but I'm not majorly worried about it."

Jon Brown, manager of The Golden Lion in Bridgnorth, says he has noticed a fall in the number of visitors to the town.

"We still have our hardcore regulars who come in anyway, but you just have to look through the window to see there's nobody out there, the passing trade has gone," he says.

There has been speculation that the Government may stop live football being shown in pubs.

"That would make a massive difference," says Mr Brown.

Retail

Dave Carter, who keeps The Arcade Toyshop in Dudley, says most small retailers would struggle to survive if the UK experienced the type of lock-down that shops in Italy have been subjected to.

He says while a large amount of toys are sourced from Italy, there has been little impact on supply so far, although that is likely to come at a later date.

Dave Carter is concerned about the risk of shops being forced to shut down

"A lot of the stuff was on the ship before the outbreak," he says.

Mr Carter says he is waiting to see what measures the Government would take.

"If it becomes like it is in Italy, with only the pharmacies and food stores open, we would have to shut-up shop," he says. "I don't think many small businesses could afford to do that. Retail is generally having a tough time at the moment."

Sport

The Premier League and EFL will hold an emergency meeting on Friday, with the Arsenal and Chelsea first-team squads in self-isolation after positive coronavirus tests for Gunners manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.

This weekend’s programme is now in jeopardy after Arsenal confirmed Arteta had contracted Covid-19 before Chelsea reported Hudson-Odoi’s case hours later.

The Premier League and EFL could follow the NBA in suspending its season, with US basketball officials clarifying on Thursday the league will be halted for at least 30 days.

A number of high-profile sporting events around the world have already been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic with Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix becoming a casualty on Thursday night.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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