The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that the annual Met Gala has been postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus across the world.
The event dubbed "fashion's biggest night out" was scheduled to take place on Monday, 4 May.
This year's theme "About Time: Fashion and Duration", was inspired by Sally Potter's 1992 period film Orlando, adapted from the Virginia Woolf novel Orlando: A Biography. The film was set in the 17th and 18th Century, and the Met Gala would feature fashion of that time.
The museum closed its doors last week after two employees showed symptoms of the coronavirus.
A statement from Met leadership regarding COVID-19:— The Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum) March 12, 2020
1/5 We will be closing all three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters—temporarily starting tomorrow, March 13, to support New York City’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
According to Vogue Magazine, an internal email was sent to the staff announcing that the Met would remain close until 4 April and that in adherence to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention advice there would not be gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.
"In deference to this guidance, all programs and events through 15 May will be cancelled or postponed," reports Vogue.
The magazine's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour said in an article on the website: "Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, About Time, and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date."
The Covid-19 virus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation last week. At present, over 160 000 people have tested positive for the virus.