Mass gatherings may be stopped as more events cancelled in Suffolk due to coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 09:02 14 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:54 14 March 2020
Mass gatherings could be banned from next week as the Government looks at new plans to tackle coronavirus.
Late on Friday a Whitehall source told the Press Association: 'Ministers are working with the chief scientific adviser and chief medical officer on our plan to stop various types of public event, including mass gatherings, beginning next week.
'We are also talking to businesses and other bodies about the timing of moving towards much more widespread working from home.
'There are many complex considerations to make all these measures as effective as possible.
'We will make the right decisions at the right time based on the best scientific evidence.
'We have drafted emergency legislation to give the Government the powers it needs to deal with coronavirus, including powers to stop mass gatherings and compensate organisations.
'We will publish this legislation next week.'
The news came as events across the county have begun to cancel because of the virus.
The latest event to announce its cancellation is the Beowulf Festival in Woodbridge.
The event had been due to take place on the town's waterfront later this year and had been postponed last year due to funding issues.
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In a statement on the event's website organisers said: 'It is a time of uncertainty and no one can predict what will happen over the next six weeks.
'The health and safety of visitors and performers are of paramount importance.
'To avoid costly last minute cancellations and further un-recoupable financial investment we have sadly made the decision to POSTPONE the Beowulf 2020 Festival.
'We thank everyone who has supported the journey so far. The Spirit of Beowulf remains alive and we intend to come back with a dragon's roar in 2021.
'Meanwhile all monies from crowd funding and ticket sales will be refunded.
'We wish everyone well in these unsettled times.'
It follows news on Friday that the popular Women's Tour event, which was due to be hosted in Suffolk for the third time, had also been postponed.
Many football games in the county have also been cancelled including Ipswich Town's League One match against Bristol Rovers.