SALISBURY Literary Festival has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event was scheduled to take place in October.

In a statement the festival's director Tom Bromley said: "It's about this time of the year that we are usually gearing up to announce the line-up for this year's Literary Festival. However, I'm sure it won't surprise you to know that given the current coronavirus situation, it is very unlikely that we will be running a festival in 2020. It's incredibly difficult to predict exactly where we might be come the autumn, and any forms of social distancing and limits on numbers would make a festival like ours difficult to go ahead.

"It's a shame twice over because 2020 is a special year in Salisbury, being the the 800th anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral, and the beginning of the city we know and love today. And a celebration of all things Salisbury and literary was going to be the focus of this year's festival."

On the festival's website it said: "Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, and the uncertainty around social distancing measures going forward, we have decided that there will be no Literary Festival this year. We’d like to thank the many friends of the festival for their continued support, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2021."

Last year's, internationally bestselling author Jung Chang led the line-up of authors attending the festival, which also featured Barney Norris, Keggie Carew, Erin Kelly, Paul Burston and Alex Reeve, Laura Purcell and Michelle Paver.

The Salisbury Literary Festival was one of the participants in the Salisbury 2020 Big Weekend. It hosted an online event with children's author Jenny Pearson, an online version of one of its popular literary walks via Instagram Live as well as literary quiz.

The three-day Big Weekend of online events started last Friday (May 29).