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CORONAVIRUS NEWS: Shakespeare properties closed to public from today and Stratford Literary Festival cancelled

Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford.
Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford.

SHAKESPEARE'S family homes and the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon are closed to visitors from today, Tuesday 17th March 2020 until further notice in accordance with measures taken on Monday 16th March by the UK Government to reduce the risk of infection with coronavirus COVID-19.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust confirmed that the properties are now closed to the public and that any further measures needed will be assessed throughout the day.

Stratford Literary Festival announced the cancellation of its spring festival this morning (Tuesday).

A statement from Annie Ashworth, festival director, said: "We are devastated because ticket sales were stronger than ever this year and we were very excited about delivering our programme, but the safety of our team, speakers and audience is paramount."

Guests at the event, from 9th to 17th May, were to have included Hilary Mantel, Rory Bremner, Michael Morpurgo and Joanna Trollope. Organisers are now hoping to programme them as part of the winter weekend from 20th to 22nd November.

Tickets refunds for Literary Festival events will be handled by Ticketsource if booked by phone or online, and Stratford Play House, if booked in person.

For more information on the latest Government advice please see www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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