The shooting for Hollywood film Mission Impossible has been postponed in Venice following widespread coronavirus fears which gripped Italy.
In a statement, Paramount Pictures said: "Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and the efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three week shoot in Venice, the scheduled first leg of an extensive production for Mission: Impossible 7."
The studio did not say when they would start shooting. It was understood that Hollywood star Tom Cruise was not in Italy for the shoot. Mission Impossible (MI) is the biggest franchisee of Hollywood and is expected to release the seventh edition in July 2021. Christopher McQuarrie is directing the seventh series. He had directed previous editions of MI like Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation and Fallout.
Current situation in Italy
The number of cases in Italy, the worst affected country in Europe, rose to more than 260 overnight from 229 on Monday, with 34 new cases reported in Lombardy and six new ones in Veneto. The number of deaths was at seven. Officials from the World Health Organization and the European Union met in Rome on Tuesday to discuss the crisis, which first broke out in China and has now spread to about 29 other countries and territories.
The worst affected areas are Lombardy and Veneto. A blockade has been set around these towns, with police deployed to restrict the entry and exit from the area. Those found flouting the restrictions would be liable for punishment including fines and imprisonment of up to three months. The dead include a 77-year-old woman in Milan's Lombardy, a 78-year-old man from Padua in Veneto region, and a 38-year-old man in Codogno.
The authorities have urged those in contact with infected people to stay at home and undergo a quarantine period of 14 days. The Venetian government has also put a stop to public gatherings in an effort to control the situation. The famous Italian automobile company Ferrari has also shut down its museum near its headquarters and suspended its factory tours due to the outbreak.