Prince Charles and Camilla have cancelled their royal tour of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Jordan due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Clarence House said this afternoon the move to cancel next week's trip was “owing to the unfolding situation with the coronavirus pandemic".
It added: “The British Government has asked Their Royal Highnesses to postpone their spring tour to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Jordan.”
Buckingham Palace had initially told Daily Star Online this morning that the Palace was following government advice over the health crisis, suggesting it was not yet postponing engagements.
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But the fast moving situation has now forced the heir to the throne and his wife to axe their engagement-packed tour which was due to start next Tuesday.
The couple had been set to embark on a mammoth nine-day tour of the three countries that would have encompassed a whopping 51 engagements.
The massive workload by a couple – who are at retirement age – had been praised by royal fans on social media, dubbing their work effort as the “gold standard”.
Charles, 71, was due to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina first on March 17 and 18, before he would have been joined by Camilla, 72, in Cyprus from March 18 to 21.
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The couple were then due to be in Jordan together until March 25.
Charles’ solo visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina was set to see him pay his respects in the 25th anniversary year of the Srebrenica genocide, carrying out engagements in Sarajevo and Srebrenica.
The mass slaughter saw more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys murdered by Bosnian Serb troops in the town in July 1995 in the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.
Charles and Camilla’s tour of Cyprus – the first since the Queen's visit in 1993 – would have come in the year marking the 60th anniversary of the island's independence from British colonial rule.
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The visit was be aimed at celebrating ties between the island and the UK, and included a trip to the UN Buffer Zone to acknowledge the peacekeeping work being undertaken by the UN.
The couple’s final visit, to Jordan, was due to see the couple hear how the country is supporting its large influx of refugees and see its rich cultural history.
The coronavirus now ravaging Europe – having killed more than 1,000 and infected more than 12,000 in Italy alone – is predicted to have infected 10,000 people in the UK.
Ten people have died from COVID-19 in the UK so far, although the figures are expected to rise significantly until it peaks around June.
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Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government was now moving to the "delay" phase of its plan to deal with the pandemic.
Mr Johnson warned in a press conference that many families will “lose loved ones before their time” and that this was “the worst public health crisis for a generation”.
He said schools were being advised to cancel trips abroad, and that people over 70 and those with pre-existing health conditions should not go on cruises.
He stopped short of closing all schools and said that this would “do more harm than good at this time”, although he added this stance could chance.
The Prime Minister also said that the government was "considering" banning major public events and would do "the right thing at the right time".
- Prince Charles
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