Coronavirus: See which are the latest venues to shut and events postponed
PUBLISHED: 09:24 20 March 2020
Waves of events have been postponed and venues and offices are closing to the public in Suffolk and Essex due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are some of the latest announcements:
•Abbeygate Cinema and No.4 Restaurant & Bar in Bury St Edmunds will be closed from Friday, March 20, until further notice.
A spokesperson said: “We fully appreciate the way our customers have joined us at the cinema in recent weeks, during this challenging time, and we look forward to welcoming everyone again soon.
“We will be launching a gift voucher campaign in the coming days, inviting anyone who would like to continue to support the cinema during this time, to purchase gift vouchers which can be used in the future.”
They added: “We’d like to say thank you to our customers for their continued support and to take this opportunity to wish everyone the very best at this difficult and challenging time.”
MORE: Suffolk venues forced to close as Coronavirus devastates theatres and cinemas
•Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds and West Stow Anglo Saxon Village are closed, but West Stow Country Park remains open.
The heritage attractions are run by West Suffolk Council. Jo Rayner, cabinet member for leisure culture and community hubs, said: “We are following clear Government instructions to delay the spread of the virus and protect our communities. Accordingly, we have taken the decision to close these two venues from noon on Tuesday, March 17, until further notice.”
•West Suffolk Council is closing its buildings from 5pm today, including the Apex entertainment venue and West Suffolk House council offices in Bury St Edmunds.
Haverhill House, Mildenhall council offices, and the office in The Guineas in Newmarket will also shut.
Residents will be able to access council services online or on the phone.
Face-to-face services for DWP at Haverhill House and district offices in Mildenhall will continue to be available to their customers.
The West Suffolk Council contact centre is open and staffed, as part of the council’s work to make sure services are being delivered, while helping protect the health of residents.
The council’s operational hub will continue to be open to deliver services such as MOTs and usual checks for taxis. The Athenaeum remains available for use by the registrars and the Blood Transfusion Service.
John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “Our staff are working hard to continue to deliver services in these challenging times while making sure we continue to protect and improve the health of our communities and businesses. Like other councils, we are dealing with loss of staff and we are following Government guidance and health advice to close our offices to the public which enables us to maintain services.
“Staff are still working from these buildings or from home to make sure we continue to deliver services and play our wider part in this COVID-19 outbreak.”
Go online at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk for updates.
MORE: Pools to shut and council meetings cancelled as Mid Suffolk and Babergh respond to coronavirus
•Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk is offering phone and email service only until further notice.
The charity has taken this decision to comply with Government guidance about reducing social contacts to delay the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The charity’s volunteers and staff have extensive experience of providing advice over the phone and via email. Normally 43% of client contacts are by telephone and 18% are by email.
Carol Eagles, chief officer, said: “We are encouraging members of the public to call us or to contact us via our website if they need advice. Please do not come to our office. If you have a problem then please do get in contact with us.
“I’m grateful to our dedicated volunteers and staff for continuing to provide an excellent service in these difficult times. Citizens Advice have been there for people in their time of need since we were established on the second day of World War Two. We will continue to do our utmost to ensure that anyone who needs help to find a way forward receives that help.”
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•Citizens Advice Sudbury & District is also ceased to provide face-to-face advice, but will continue to offer phone and email service to residents of the Babergh area.
Colleen Sweeney, chief officer, said: “We are encouraging members of the public to call us on 01787 321400 or 0300 330 1151, email or to contact us via our website if they need advice. Please do not come to the office. If you have a problem then please do get in contact with us.”
•Tendring District Council will be closing its office receptions to the public from Monday, March 2 – but the authority is still operating.
The decision has been taken in light of the Coronavirus situation, to protect both staff and the public.
It means the public will not be able to access the Tourist Information Centre and reception at Clacton Town Hall, the housing and benefits reception at Pier Avenue, Clacton, nor the offices at the Northbourne Depot.
The Planning Reception at the Weeley offices will close tonight, Thursday March 19.
However, residents and businesses can still contact the council via the website – where a number of services can be carried out online – or by calling the contact centre on 01255 686868.
Leisure centres and the Weeley Crematorium currently remain open, in line with Government guidance, but with enhanced cleaning regimes in place.
The closure of receptions and buildings which remain open are under constant review, the council said.
For updates see here.
•Firstsite arts organisation in Colchester has decided to temporarily close to members of the public until further notice.
A spokesperson said: “Firstsite believe art can help us to see the world differently. It inspires, empowers and opens our minds. Now more than ever, art can help us feel connected, lift our spirits and support our well-being. Whilst Firstsite is shut, they are working on ways for you to enjoy their programme online, and we’ll share these ideas and activities with you soon.
“Firstsite will open again as soon as possible – we will be in touch when we have a firm idea of this date.”
See the website here.
•Haverhill health fair planned for Friday, March 27, has been postponed by the ONE Haverhill Partnership.
The ‘Haverhill 50+ and Fab’ information and awareness fair was due to take place at Haverhill Leisure Centre.
The free event followed last year’s successful Haverhill Health Fair, but will now be postponed and rearranged for a later date in 2020.
A spokesman for the event said: “We are disappointed to postpone the health fair. But in light of the Coronavirus and Government guidelines, we have taken this decision.
“We would like to thank every organisation and individual who offered to support next week’s event.
“We will look to rearrange the health fair for a suitable date later in the year and will keep you all up-to-date with plans.”
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