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Cancellations are in full force across Central Otago and Lakes District as the risk of Covid-19 intensifies.

Various events across both areas have been cancelled over recent days, after the Government banned everything that was expected to attract crowds of more than 500 people.

One of the first events to be cancelled was Warbirds Over Wanaka, which was due to take place during Easter, from April 10 to 12.

The Nasa balloon launch and Aspiring Conversations festival, which were scheduled to take place in Wanaka next month, have also been cancelled, along with the Wanaka Trail Ride, which was to be held on March 28.

A steady stream of cancellations has also been announced for a range of Central Otago events, including the Clyde Wine and Food Festival.

The Central Otago Burgundy Exchange training week, scheduled for March 24-27, is on hold.

The Millers Flat Rodeo National Finals, which were due to take place on March 28, has been cancelled and Central Otago Relay for Life, which was meant to take place this weekend, has been postponed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

“To slow the spread and reduce the number of people infected .. Cabinet agreed that gatherings of 500 or more people held outdoors or indoors should be cancelled.”

That move applied to non-essential events, including sporting and religious events, but excluded school or university events.

Monday’s announcement would give certainty to event organisers, but further guidance on public gatherings would be announced further in the week, she said.

“Ultimately, I know this decision is hugely disappointing. I know it will have an impact on a number of communities . . . but we are making this decision in the best interest of New Zealanders.”

The above events are the only ones The News was aware had been affected at the time of printing. However, as many events are being cancelled or postponed in order to limit the spread of Covid-19, we recommend checking anything you plan to attend is still going ahead.

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz