THE ANNUAL Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations is Stratford’s latest major event to be axed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It follows yesterday’s government advice to keep social contact to a minimum – including avoiding pubs and restaurants, public transport and urging people to work at home where possible – as the outbreak continues to escalate in the UK.
The celebration of the playwright – which attracts people from across the globe – was set to take place over the weekend of April 25 and 26.
Stratford Town Council spokeswoman Sarah Summers said: “Following advice from the government and Public Health England on the current COVID-19 situation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations in Stratford.
“The safety of visitors to the town is of the utmost importance to us and, as such, the full weekend of events will be affected, including the parade on Saturday and quill ceremony on Sunday.
“We know this will be disappointing for visitors who attend each year and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The Shakespeare family homes in and around Stratford have also closed to visitors and the Royal Shakespeare Company has also ceased operations.