Wimbledon BookFest has been forced to cancel its World Book Day event featuring authors Sita Brachmachari, Konnie Huq and Karyn Parsons, because of a local coronavirus case.
Events are scheduled to take place across the country today (Thursday 5th March) to celebrate World Book Day and its Share A Million Stories campaign.
Authors Sita Brahmachari, Karyn Parsons and Konnie Huq were due to speak at the event: over 1,000 primary and secondary school children from 17 school were due to attend.
Fiona Razvi, director of Wimbledon BookFest said: "We are really disappointed to have to cancel our World Book Day event this Wednesday at New Wimbledon Theatre. World Book Day is a real highlight of the festival’s work with schools and we had a wonderful day of fun activity planned with the fantastic authors Sita Brachmachari, Konnie Huq and Karyn Parsons. However, given the circumstances of a recent coronavirus case connected with a Wimbledon school it felt the most appropriate decision to make for public health and to safeguard the children."
World Book Day is advising authors, illustrators and schools to follow advice from Public Health England and the Department of Health in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The World Book Day website will also post a note online for any children or young people staying at home as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, which at the time of writing has seen the UK record 85 cases.
The note, which links to the latest guidance, reminds youngsters they can redeem their book tokens until Sunday 29th March and includes a list of ideas "to keep you busy if you are stuck indoors".
The Bookseller understands no other World Book Day events have been cancelled as yet.
- Wimbledon BookFest to hold physical event in September
- London Book & Screen Week and CAMEOs cancelled over coronavirus
- Bologna Children's Book Fair cancelled over coronavirus
- London Book Fair cancelled as major publishers pull out over coronavirus fears
- University Press Redux conference cancelled over coronavirus concerns