Distraught Harry Potter fans miss out as Warner Brothers studio tour celebrating the boy wizard closes for three weeks due to coronavirus
- Warner Bros Studio Tour in Hertfrodshire will shut from tonight until April 3
- No cases at the attraction which costs £47 and has up to 6,000 visitors daily
- But staff say it will shut ‘out of an abundance of caution’ amid virus pandemic
- New Slytherin exhibition is due to open on April 3 and run until September 6
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Harry Potter fans have been left upset after the hugely-popular Warner Bros Studio Tour was shut for nearly three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff at the studios, based in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, said there had been no reported cases of the infection, but the tour would close from tonight until April 3.
Staff said the site would shut ‘out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our visitors, employees and community partners’.
The Hogwarts Express at the hugely-popular Warner Bros Studio Tour in Hertfordshire
Diagon Alley at the Warner Bros Studio Tour which attracts up to 6,000 visitors a day
The latest exhibition at the Studio Tour is A Celebration of Slytherin, due to open on April 3
Tickets for the attraction, which welcomes up to 6,000 visitors a day, cost £47 for adults or £38 for children – with fans often booking a slot months in advance.
And Tilly Lovett tweeted: ‘Absolutely gutted Warner Bros Studio Tour London is closing because of corona. Guess who’s due to go next weekend?’
Another Twitter user, Mike, added: ‘Gutted I won’t be going to Warner Bros Studio Tour London next month as planned… hopefully I can rearrange to go again soon.’
And Gemma from Birmingham said: ‘Absolutely gutted Warner Bros Studio Tour London is gonna be closed for my birthday trip. Coronavirus needs to do one.’
Tttraction welcomes up to 6,000 visitors a day. Tickets cost £47 for adults or £38 for children
The attraction takes an estimated revenue of £255,000 a day based on 6,000 visitors paying an average of £42.50, meaning 17 days of closure could cost it £4.3million.
The latest exhibition at the site – which was used to film all eight Harry Potter films – is A Celebration of Slytherin, due to open on April 3 and run until September 6.
A Warner Bros spokesman said: ‘While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making Of Harry Potter, out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our visitors, employees and community parties, we have made the decision to temporarily close the Studio Tour effective from 8pm on Monday, March 16, 2020.’
The company added that staff will contact anyone with tickets booked between tomorrow and April 3 within 72 hours of their intended visit date to provide a refund.
It added that any gift tickets used to make a booking would be re-validated for 12 months from the visit date.
Anyone who has purchased tickets or transportation packages via a third-party was urged to contact the provider directly.
The new Slytherin exhibition opening next month will feature the house’s common room as well as the original costumes of the Malfoy Family and Lord Voldemort.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson today set out the need for ‘drastic action’ to tackle the ‘fast growth’ of coronavirus.
The Prime Minister said that according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) ‘it looks as though we are now approaching the fast growth part of the upward curve’ in the number of cases.
‘Without drastic action cases could double every five or six days,’ he said.
Mr Johnson said ‘if you or anyone in your household’ had one of the two symptoms – a high temperature or continuous cough – ‘you should stay at home for 14 days’.
The Prime Minister said people should start working from home ‘where they possibly can’. ‘You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues,’ he said.
At least 36 people have now died in the UK after being diagnosed with coronavirus, after Wales confirmed its first death, at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Across the UK, 1,543 people have now tested positive for the infection, up from 1,372 at the same time yesterday. However, many thousands more are estimated to have been infected.
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