Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Tom Cruise vehicle Mission: Impossible 7 has halted production on its three-week shoot in Venice, Italy, after the country became the epicenter for the coronavirus outside of Asia. Deadline first reported the news.

In a statement to EW, Paramount Pictures says that due to the local government shutting down public gatherings, the film is “altering the production plan” and allowing crew members to go home.

“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 reads in full. “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.”

In northern Italy, authorities have reported six deaths so far from the virus, and the number of confirmed cases rose from three on Friday morning to at least 229 by Monday night, according to The New York Times. In the Veneto Region, authorities have closed schools and museums, and even canceled the floating city’s famous Venice Carnival.

Similarly, in China, where the virus originated, the government has put an indefinite halt to all film production in the country, where the death toll is nearing 2,600.

In total, the popular action franchise has racked up $3.5 billion worldwide. Mission Impossible: 7 is slated to debut in theaters on July 23, 2021; it’s not known yet how much, if at all, this delay will affect that premiere date. Another sequel is already set for Aug. 5, 2022.

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