Folks - today I booted up in a different sequence and it all worked. Trainer first, connects to laptop via ant+. Variable resistance works. Then companion app on phone with bluetooth connecting to bluetooth hrm. On settings screen then connect to hrm. All worked for me in this sequence both last night and today for the whole ride.
I had previously been waking up the trainer last as I didn’t want my hrm to connect to it. I think this is not an issue as you have to manually connect the Elite Direto to the hrm via their app.
I’m not saying this is the solution, only that it’s the only thing I have changed and it seems to work.