Local and mayoral elections are to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak

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The Government has announced local and mayoral elections in England will be postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Polls were due this spring in 118 English councils, the London Assembly and for seven English regional mayors and voting was also due to take place for the London mayor and police and crime commissioners in England and Wales.

But the elections which were due to take place on May 7 would have fallen during the expected peak of the spread of the virus.

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The Electoral Commission suggested on Thursday that the elections should be delayed until the autumn to "mitigate" the impact of the virus but local and mayoral elections but they will now be postponed until May 2021, according to the Government.

The Government has announced the postponement of local elections.The Government has announced the postponement of local elections.
The Government has announced the postponement of local elections. | JPIMedia

Meanwhile, visits to Parliament will be restricted from Monday and MPs and peers are being discouraged from making trips abroad.

Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said the measures would help preserve the operation of Parliament during the outbreak.

The Cabinet Office said it would put in legislation to enact the elections delay in England and make sure the Welsh authorities had the same powers.

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Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said it is important everyone feels they can take part in any election.

The total number of deaths in the UK has now been reported to be 21 and the latest to die were patients in "at-risk" groups, according to UK's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

The total number of confirmed UK cases has now reached 1,140 and 37,746 people have been tested.