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London Muslim gay pride festival postponed over coronavirus crisis

The event was due to take place in April [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 March, 2020

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London's first-ever Muslim Pride event has been postponed until winter following updated advice on the coronavirus pandemic.
London's first-ever Muslim LGBTQI pride event has been postponed until at least the winter, following new UK government advice on the global coronavirus pandemic.

The "ImaanFest" - which was due to take place on 11 April - has been rescheduled to take place in December 2020.

"Because of the fast-moving situation and uncertainty around how the pandemic will evolve, we've taken the difficult decision to postpone the event until Sat 12th December 2020," event organisers Imaan LGBTQI Muslim Support said in a statment posted to Twitter on Monday.

The group added that those who had purchased tickets could seek a refund if required.

The ImaanFest was set to be a celebration of Imaan's 20th anniversary, hosting a range of workshops on sexuality, intersectional identities, exhibitions and an afterparty with live entertainment.

Its postponement came just hours after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced more stringent government advice over the novel coronavirus.

Johnson, who has been criticised for his light touch approach to the pandemic, stopped short of enforcing any of the new advice by law.

More than 1,500 cases have been confirmed in the UK and 53 people have died. But health officials said last week the number of infections could be as high as 10,000.

"Without drastic action, cases could double every five or six days," Johnson told reporters on Monday evening, in a speech that marked an apparent u-turn in government policy.

The Conservative Party leader said London was worst hit and urged its residents in particular to heed advice to work from home and avoid pubs, clubs and theatres.

Many of the UK's European neighbours have already sealed borders and closed schools, however Johnson has insisted that "on balance it's much better if we can keep schools open".

Last week, the government said it would not be testing people with mild symptoms, saying that they should simply wait out the virus at home.

But after the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday emphasised the importance of tests, Johnson and the medical experts insisted they were still doing this.


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