THE annual Braintree and Bocking Carnival is the latest high profile event to be shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers have announced this year's carnival, which was pencilled in for June 6, has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

The cancellation is the latest in a long list of social events which have had to be either postponed or abandoned due to the Government's limit on gatherings.

New laws passed by Parliament mean groups of more than two people are no longer permitted in public.

In a post on Facebook, carnival organisers said: "Regretfully but inevitably Braintree and Bocking Carnival has been cancelled for 2020.

"We would like to thank those people who had already made commitments to support us this year.

"Hopefully by this time next year we will be be free of the virus and ready to enjoy life again.

"Stay safe and well."

Next year's carnival is set to be held on June 12.

Braintree Arts Theatre has meanwhile extended its closure to April 13 following the latest advice from the Government.

The theatre is no longer listing any events in April and May and says it will keep its closure under constant review.

A spokesman said: "If we need to extend the closure period and cancel more events then we will notify customers by email or telephone and via our website and Facebook page.

"We kindly ask customers to refrain from contacting our box office via the phone. Please be assured we are working as quickly as possible.

"Thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time."

All upcoming events at Cressing Temple Barns, including Essex's only chocolate festival, have been cancelled and bosses say the historic site is closed until further notice.

Witham Public Hall has also confirmed it is closed indefinitely.