People are being urged to stay at home and not visit friends or family this Easter Bank Holiday weekend in order to stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

The long weekend is traditionally a time to catch up with relatives and enjoy the spring weather.

But this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic heading towards its peak, the government and NHS chiefs doubled down on their message to obey social isolation restrictions.

On Thursday evening, people across Merseyside opened their windows and doors to applaud the NHS staff and other key workers battling to stop the spread of the disease while supporting the vulnerable.

Supporters surrounded Aintree Hospital, which has tragically seen two staff members die in the space of a week.

The numbers of people in Merseyside who have died after testing positive for coronavirus sadly rose again on Thursday.

The number who have died at Liverpool's hospitals after contracting the disease now stands at 113, and other parts of Merseyside also saw an increase of deaths.

Tory minister forced to defend actions

Housing minister Robert Jenrick has been forced to explain himself after he was spotted near his parents’ Shropshire home.

He had previously urged people to ask local communities to help their loved ones rather than rely on relatives for supplies.

On Twitter, he said his parents were self isolating and had asked him to deliver some medicines, and that he respected social distancing rules.

Tragedy of forgotten coronavirus victim

There have been many tributes to victims of the pandemic, but there are some who are also at risk of being forgotten.

One asylum seeker in Liverpool has already died, and there are fears that his family may not even know.

You can read the full story here.

50 NHS heroes in Liverpool need your help

The ECHO is joining forces with brave NHS and health workers across the city to put forward a simple message.

Stay in for the good of your city.

More than 50 different people working on the frontline have shared their reasons why it’s so important to stay in.

“Please stay at home. I’m missing my family so much and can’t go home till this is all over. Please stay indoors and stay safe!”

“Please stay at home so I can continue to care for patients and keep them safe.”

You can read all their messages here.