Published: 10:19, 19 March 2020
| Updated: 11:59, 19 March 2020
All of Kent’s 99 libraries are to shut from tomorrow indefinitely as part of a range of measures the county council is taking to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Dozens of other services provided by the council are also being hit by the crisis.
The council leader has warned the authority faces a massive challenge in the weeks and months ahead.
Cllr Roger Gough said the top priority would be looking after the most vulnerable.
He said: "For us in Kent, as across the country, and indeed across the world, we now face a massive challenge in the form of coronavirus and its impact on our lives and work.
"We are set on ensuring we continue to deliver the services we have always done for people in Kent and we recognise the challenges this means for Kent residents, and we'll respond to these."
The closure of libraries reflects the growing pressure on public authorities to try to limit the possibility of spreading infection.
KCC has warned that non-essential road repairs will be sidelined and has cancelled recruitment fairs for social workers and information events on adoption and fostering.
It has also warned that waste tips may have to close at short notice.
In a message to library users, KCC said all loan periods were to be extended for all customers until the end of June. After that, renewals would be done via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), social media or call us on 03000 41 31 31.
The mobile library service has also been suspended.