The Prague International Film Festival is the latest industry event to be canceled in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak.
Organizers confirmed Tuesday that the event, also known as Febiofest, is canceled until further notice and will aim to be rescheduled later in the year.
The cancellation follows a ban by the Czech Ministry of Health on cinema screenings, elementary and high school classes, sports matches and cultural events in response to fears over the coronavirus.
The government ban targets public events nationwide that expect attendance of more than 100 people. Cinemas, theater productions, concerts, exhibitions and trade fares are to be shut down as of Tuesday evening at 6PM, while schools are to cancel classes starting Wednesday with no timeline stated for re-opening.
For now, pre-schools, restaurants, shopping centers and public transport are to remain open, according to the announcement.
The festival last week revealed that it would host Woody Harrelson, Agnieszka Holland and Hirokazu Kore-eda at this year’s edition. At that point, Europe’s outbreak was still in its early stages, and organizers appeared bullish that the festival would be able to continue.
Prague’s ongoing One World Film Festival, which kicked off March 5 and runs through March 14, has pledged to continue screenings at smaller cinemas with a capacity of less than 100 people.
A previous Czech public health ban covered events with audiences greater than 5,000 people. Some 38 cases of Coronavirus have been reported in the country, one involving a Prague taxi driver, which is feared to have caused a possible community-borne infection.
Czechs and foreign residents, meanwhile, are now required to undergo a two-week quarantine, generally done in people’s homes, if they have travelled to Italy, where more than 463 people have so far died from the virus.