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London Book Fair cancelled due to ‘escalation of coronavirus’

The event was due to take place next week, but has been scrapped after a number of publishers pulled out.

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London Book Fair has been cancelled due to the ‘escalation of coronavirus’ (Tim Whitby/PA)

London Book Fair has been cancelled due to the ‘escalation of coronavirus’ (Tim Whitby/PA)

London Book Fair has been cancelled due to the ‘escalation of coronavirus’ (Tim Whitby/PA)

The London Book Fair has been cancelled by organiser because of the escalation of coronavirus in Europe.

The literary event, one of the largest book-publishing trade fairs in the world, was due to take place at Olympia London from March 10 to 12.

A statement from organiser Reed Exhibitions on Twitter said: “The effects, actual and projected, of coronavirus are becoming evident across all aspects of our lives here in the UK and across the world, with many of our participants facing travel restrictions.

“We have been following UK Government guidelines and working with the rolling advice from the public health authorities and other organisations, and so it is with reluctance that we have taken the decision not to go ahead with this year’s event.”

The statement added: “We recognise that business has to continue. With this in mind, we will of course support and collaborate with exhibitors and visitors to keep our world moving during this difficult period.

“We thank all those from the UK and a multitude of other countries who have prepared over the last year to deliver what promised to be a wonderful book fair showcasing, as ever, the exciting best of the global book industry.”

Reed Exhibitions said the London Book Fair will return next year, “better than ever”.

Disney+
Disney+ launch events were cancelled amid coronavirus fears (Disney/PA)

The cancellation of the London Book Fair, expected to host around 25,000 people from the publishing industry, came after a number of major agencies and publishers pulled out of the event.

Publishing industry magazine The Bookseller reported that Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins were among those who had withdrawn from the annual fair.

The London Book Fair is the latest event to be scrapped due to the spread of Covid-19 in Europe.

On Tuesday, Disney cancelled press events for the launch of its streaming platform Disney+ which were due to take place in London on Thursday and Friday.

The company said the decision was “made out of an abundance of caution and everyone’s best interests in mind”.

The National Gallery has said there are “no changes” to its operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement from the gallery said: “We will continue to closely review and follow the advice from Public Health England.

“In the interests of the health and safety of our staff and visitors, we are also promoting the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation to reduce risk of transmission.”

PA