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Czech Republic closes heritage sites, postpones season over coronavirus

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The Czech National Heritage Institute (NPU) closed all state-run castles, chateaux and other heritage sites with all-year operation as of today and postponed the start of the main season indefinitely over new coronavirus, its spokeswoman Jana Hartmanova told CTK today.

The NPU runs about 100 heritage sites that welcomed a total of 5,273 million visitors last year. The sites with all-year operations include popular castles and chateaus such as Karlstejn near Prague and Hluboka nad Vltavou, South Bohemia.

In 2018, the NPU’s proceeds from the heritage sites reached 620 million crowns.

Based on the National Security Council’s (BRS) decision, the Czech state has banned all events with more than 100 participants as of 18:00 today as a measure to tackle the spreading of new coronavirus.

About 41 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Czechia so far.

Reacting to the ban, the organizers announced the cancellation of the Febiofest international film festival that was to start in Prague on March 19.

The Prague part of the One World festival of human rights films continues only in small screening rooms, Gabriela Galova told CTK on behalf of the organizers.

The Karlovy Vary international film festival is scheduled to start on July 3. Its preparations are going on, uninfluenced by today’s ban for the time being, its spokeswoman Uljana Donatova told CTK.

The Czech Grand Design award-giving ceremony, due in Prague on March 24, will probably be postponed, Barbora Svehlova told CTK on behalf of the organizers.

The Book World Fair, which is to start in the Prague-Holesovice exhibition area on May 14, continues to be prepared and the organisers believe that it will take place, the event’s spokeswoman Jana Chalupova said.

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