BUCKFAST Tonic Wine has ceased production with immediate effect as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The decision was "not taken lightly", its producers said.

It follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson introducing a lockdown across the country last night and telling all non-essential businesses to close.

A statement read: "Given the unprecedented Covid-19 situation, we wanted to take time to update you on our position.

"With immediate effect our offices and production lines will temporarily close, this decision was not taken lightly, however we must act on the Governments advice.

"Our safety and wellbeing of our employees, and the wider community is of the utmost importance.

"We must play our part in helping to protect our NHS by asking our employees to stay at home.

"With the temporary closure, our distribution network will be freed up to play it’s part in delivering vital essential commodities across the United Kingdom at this time.

"Our production will commence as soon as we can. Thank you for your understanding."