England

Coronavirus: Libraries and museums closing across country

Woman reading book Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Several councils across England have announced library shutdowns, with some other areas expected to follow suit

Libraries and museums across England are among council-run services to be closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Herefordshire Council’s facilities will shut from Friday. Libraries and leisure centres in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and West Sussex closed on Wednesday.

Council offices, museums and youth centres in Windsor and Maidenhead will also be closed from Wednesday, officials said.

Facilities in North Tyneside, including sport venues, shut on Tuesday.

Paul Hanson, chief executive of North Tyneside Council, said: "It is important to stress that essential front-line services will continue, and our teams are working exceptionally hard to ensure they do."

All 36 libraries in West Sussex have been closed, but people can join online to continue to use the service, the council said.

Outdoor celebrations postponed

In Bradford, West Yorkshire, some volunteer-run libraries have closed, but the council said it planned to keep libraries open as community hubs.

Twelve libraries, six leisure centres and three museums are closing in Wakefield from Wednesday and Telford and Wrekin Council has confirmed all of its leisure centres, libraries and its ski centre will close from Friday until the end of May.

Outdoor celebrations including St George's Day and VE Day event have also been postponed.

In Herefordshire, the council apologised for the disruption, adding all services would "have to be delivered in a different way" during the pandemic.

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