Coronavirus grounds Sunderland Airshow

Red Arrows performing at the Sunderland International AirshowImage source, PA
Image caption,
The Red Arrows are usually a star attraction at the event which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors

This year's Sunderland Airshow and Sunderland River Festival have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The airshow was due to be held on 24-26 July, with the river festival scheduled for 15-16 August.

Hundreds of thousands of people normally attend the air show.

No details of the line-ups or attractions had been confirmed. Sunderland City Council said it had been a "difficult decision".

The council's assistant director of culture and events, Victoria French, said: "Following careful consideration, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel some of our biggest and best-loved events that were scheduled for the summer months.

"We understand that this news will cause disappointment for lots of people but hope that everyone will appreciate that the health and wellbeing of our communities is at the forefront of our decision-making process.

"We look forward to welcoming everyone again next year."

The Red Arrows usually get the event under way with a flypast above the city's Northern Spire Bridge.

Image source, North News
Image caption,
Hundreds of thousands usually attend the event
Image source, PA
Image caption,
Sunderland Council said it was a difficult decision but that people's health was the priority