China has officially ordered an indefinite halt to all film production within its borders as it seeks to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The official death toll in China stands at 361, with 17,205 confirmed cases of the disease as of Sunday – numbers that are rapidly rising.
Producing and acting associations have co-issued a notice saying that all film and TV production companies, crews and actors are to suspend film and TV drama shoots until an unspecified time when the period of heightened virus prevention has passed.
Those who don’t stop production will be ‘held responsible’. Film industry professionals also have the right to refuse to participate in shoots during the epidemic period, and can report shoots that continue unabated to the local authorities and industry associations.
Chinese citizens nationwide remain isolated in self-imposed quarantine, and more than a dozen major metropolises have been under lockdown measures restricting travel. A decline in the number of films and TV shows produced by the country this year is expected – especially as Spring is a key period for production.