Cirencester Town Council has announced the Cirencester markets have been cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus.

The decision to close the markets includes all operations of its weekly and monthly markets and all events.

A spokesman for the town council said: "This decision hasn't been taken lightly. Our world is markets and special events.

"We love what we do, and it's all been taken out of our hands. As for all of us, this is a very difficult time for the whole team.

"We are sensible and responsible operators, who want to put the health, safety and wellbeing of our team, traders, visitors and the wider community as a top priority.

"The situation has been, and continues to be, under constant review in line with Public Health England and Local & National Government advice.

"We pride ourselves on running community markets and events. Our markets attract people of all ages.

"We are concerned that running the markets could risk spreading coronavirus across the towns, and particularly threaten lives of the vulnerable and older members of our communities.

"We therefore believe cancelling our markets is the right choice.

"These are extremely challenging times for everyone and need to be taken seriously.

"The Government are advising us to remain at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

"By holding markets, we're encouraging people, especially those at risk to come out of their homes, into town centres, where they're most at risk.

"Our thoughts are with our traders, many of whom are self-employed and rely on markets for their livelihood and understand the frustration, but the sooner we listen to the Government's advice, the sooner we'll get through this difficult period.

"We all need to play our part, and by us stopping markets, we're discouraging gatherings of people.

"We will be staying in touch with our traders, offering any guidance we can and helping them promote new ways of trading that they may develop."