Cannes Film Festival postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

Organisers said the festival might now take place either in late June or early July.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 08, 2018 a Palme d'Or is seen on stage during a rehearsal ahead of the opening ceremony of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France.  The Cannes film festival will not take place as planned in May, it was announced on March 19, 2020 amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19 (new Coronavirus). / AFP / Antonin THUILLIER

The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed.

Organisers announced that the festival will no longer be taking place this May due to the coronavirus. The festival might now take place either in late June or early July.

The postponement comes weeks after speculations over whether the festival, which attracts thousands of filmmakers and celebrities to the city in the French Riviera, would be held. The festival was originally scheduled to take place from May 12 to 23.

“Several options are considered in order to preserve its [the festival’s] running, the main one being a simple postponement, in Cannes, until the end of June-beginning of July.” Organisers said in a statement on Thursday.

France is now in its fourth day of a lockdown aimed to combat the spread of the disease. More than 100,000 police and security personnel have been deployed across the country to enforce the lockdown. People are only allowed to leave their home for officially sanctioned reason including going to work, shopping for necessities or getting medical treatment.

People who fail to abide to the lockdown risk a fine of between €38 (Dh150) and €135 (Dh533).

"At this time of global health crisis, our thoughts go to the victims of the Covid-19 and we express our solidarity with all of those who are fighting the disease," the festival’s organisers said.

Earlier this month, the French government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, of which France currently has more than 2,200 cases. There have been more than 245,000 cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide. More than 10,000 have died from the disease while 88,000 have fully recovered.

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