A HOST of entertainment venues across the Braintree district have confirmed they are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those to shut their doors to the public are Braintree Arts Theatre, Witham Public Hall and Halstead's Empire Theatre.

Notley Sports Centre has also suspended all bookings.

The closures come following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's advice to avoid social non-essential social contact, including venues such as theatres and restaurants.

The Government has stopped short of enforcing venues to close, but a number in our district have taken the decision to in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Bosses at Braintree Arts Theatre held emergency meetings yesterday and have today announced they will close to the public until April 3.

A spokesman said: "Braintree Arts Theatre will continue to actively monitor and follow advice from the Government and Public Health England about the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

"Following the Government’s announcement on March 16, the decision has been made to close our theatre to the public, initially until 3 April 2020.

"If you have tickets for events during this timeframe, you will shortly receive an email from us with information about the shows you were due to attend, and the rescheduled date for some of the shows. Your tickets will automatically be transferred to the new date, however if you cannot attend this date, or no longer wish to attend the event, please email enquiries@braintreeartstheatre.com for a full refund."

Witham Public Hall announced it was closed to the public on Tuesday.

In a statement posted on its website, the venue said: "With the latest developments it has become necessary to cancel or re-schedule all events planned for the coming weeks.

"We will update the information on specific events as we have new dates arranged at which point we will publish details of how to update your tickets to the new date or get a refund if you will no longer be able to attend.

"Please be patient as this is going to take our volunteers some time to get fully resolved.

"At present we are looking at events up to the end of April and will consider May and beyond as things become clearer."

Notley Sports Centre has also suspended all bookings until April 3. Those using facilities at Notley High School and Braintree Arts Theatre will also be unable to do so until April 3.

A spokesman said: "If you currently have bookings with us, we will be in touch via email and school hire bookings with much more information.

"We kindly ask all customers to refrain from contacting our Sports Centre by telephone. Please be assured that we are working as quickly as possible to understand the implications and to put appropriate steps in place."

Halstead's Empire Theatre is also closed until further notice.