London institution The Barbican has announced its plans to follow government advice and close amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Barbican, who announced the news on the same day The Tate closed its doors, have cancelled or postponed all events until Friday 1 May 2020.
“The safety of our staff and audiences is our most important consideration, so we’ve taken the decision to fully close the building during this period,” The Barbican said in a statement. “We’re sorry to the artists and audiences affected and recognise the significant impact that this closure will have on all those we work with or are due to attend our events.”
They continue: “As we’re having to cancel or postpone a large number of events, please be patient with us and try to avoid contacting our box office at this stage and we’ll be providing full information as soon as we can. The Barbican relies on box office income and donations to deliver our programme, pay staff and artists and to run our building. The current situation presents a very significant financial challenge to us, alongside the artists and organisations we work with, so, if you’re able, please consider making a donation to help support our future work.
“Thanks for bearing with us during this unprecedented situation and we hope to be able to welcome you back to the Barbican soon.”
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of 16 March, more than 173,000 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 6,600 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 150 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.