MADRID — Spain’s Malaga Festival, the country’s biggest festival dedicated to Spanish and Latin American films and TV, has been postponed, the Malaga Town Hall announced Tuesday.

No new date has been suggested for the event. Via Twitter, Municipal authorities adduced “uncertainty generated by the evolution of coronavirus” as the reason for the postponement.

“Although health authorities have not expressly banned the Festival from taking place, their recommendation to avoid traveling within Spain makes it difficult for the festival to take place normally,” the Town Hall added.

Spain’s Ministry of Health advised Spaniards on Monday against traveling in Spain. The 23rd Malaga Festival was due to open in three days time, running March 13-22.

The postponement is a blow to Spain’s film and TV industry which has increasingly turned to the Malaga Festival as a platform for new works from established talent (such as, this year, Goya-winning David Trueba’s immigration-themed “A este lado del mundo”, as well as notable first features – such as Pilar Palomero’s “Las niñas,” from Inicia Films and Bteam Pictures, which played Berlin last month –  and key new shows from Spain’s biggest SVOD platforms, whether Movistar Plus’ banner series “La Línea Invisible,” directed by “What the Future Holds’” Mariano Barroso,  or Netflix original movie  “Hogar,” directed by brothers Alex and David Pastor, produced by Nostromo, and starring Javier Gutiérrez and Mario Casas.

Showcased at the Cannes Film Market, the Malaga Festival Mafiz market has acquired ever larger importance as an early-year meeting place for Spain and Latin America’s industries.

The postponement comes as Spain has leapt up Covid-19 charts, reporting 1,646 confirmed cases, more than France (1,412) and Germany (1,281) but trailing Italy’s 9,172, according to The Lancet.

Spanish capital Madrid, the origin of many Málaga guests, currently ranks as one of Spain’s three significant contagion zones.