The World Pilot Gig Championships have been cancelled this year as the latest casualty of coronavirus.

Organisers announced the decision this morning, in light of the government's apparent change of heart yesterday, stating that large events could be banned from as early as next week.

The BBC reported that a government source said ministers were drawing up plans for the ban, to ease pressure on emergency services.

The number of confirmed cases of the virus in the UK rose to 798 on Friday and a total of 11 people have died, although in Cornwall the total number of confirmed cases currently remains at five.

Organisers of the popular gig championships, which take place on the Isles of Scilly every May, confirmed this morning that the event would not be rescheduled for later this year.

A statement on the event's Facebook this morning subsequently said: "The UK Government is set to ban large gatherings and WPGC 2020 is cancelled.

"It cannot be rescheduled for this year.

"Registration fees will be refunded - there will be information on how that will be done posted here and on our website over the next few days. "The CPGA and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company will arrange for gigs that have already arrived to be freighted back to the mainland."

The next World Pilot Gig Championships will take place in 2021.

The statement added: "There is disappointment all round but in the light of the current crisis, this is the right decision."