Berlin shuts big state theater, opera, concert halls over coronavirus

BERLIN (Reuters) – Berlin city authorities said on Tuesday performances would not take place from March 11 to April 19 in large halls at state theaters, opera houses and concert halls in the German capital in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

“I also recommend that the large private theaters do the same,” Berlin’s culture senator, Klaus Lederer, said in a statement.

As of Monday, Germany had registered 1,139 coronavirus cases with two fatalities, according to government data.

Separately, a joint crisis committee of the federal government’s interior and health ministries said the national police would strengthen controls at Germany’s southern borders.

“The Federal Foreign Office advises against traveling to Italy,” the crisis committee added in a statement. Italy is the worst affected country in the European Union, with more than 10,000 confirmed cases and more than 600 deaths.

The German committee also recommended the cancellation of all major public and private events involving more than 1,000 expected participants.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Gareth Jones

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