Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible 7 Halts Filming in Italy Due to Coronavirus Outbreak in Country

Italian authorities have banned people in the country from gathering in public and private as 229 cases of the coronavirus were reported

Tom Cruise‘s upcoming Mission: Impossible 7 has halted production in Italy after a number of people in the county have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, PEOPLE confirms.

The movie was set to film in Venice, Italy for three weeks, but a rapid increase in the number of people with the virus across the northern part of the country has caused Paramount Pictures to pause production. Cruise, 57, was not in Italy at the time.

Paramount Pictures issued a statement obtained by PEOPLE saying, “Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and 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 statement continued, “During this hiatus, we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves.”

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Tom Cruise[/caption]

About 229 people reportedly are infected with the virus in Italy and six people have died, according to NBC News. Schools, universities and museums were shut down by Italian authorities on Monday while public and private gatherings were banned, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The World Health Organization posted an update on its website in regards to the European country noting that “based on current data, in the majority of cases (4 out of every 5) people experience mild or no symptoms.”

As of Monday, there are 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus within the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the Zika epidemic in 2016.

To date, there are 79,570 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide and 2,629 deaths. Mainland China still has the majority of confirmed cases, followed by South Korea with 833.

The CDC is emphasizing that Americans should not panic — the group says the risk of contracting coronavirus is still “low.” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control, said Jan. 30 that anyone who has recently traveled to China or been in close contact with someone who has should “be vigilant about symptoms” and contact their health care provider if they feel sick.

For everyone else, the best prevention methods are the same as those for the flu, which experts have pointed out is far more of a threat right now.

“Our guidance is that at this time of year, the best things you can do are the things that we generally recommend at this time of year to prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” Messionnier said. “Wash your hands, cover your cough, take care of yourself, and keep alert to the information that we’re providing, because we’ll provide new information as it becomes available.”

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