'Mission: Impossible VII' halts Italy filming over virus: report

Production on the latest film in the "Mission: Impossible" series starring Tom Cruise has been stopped in Italy following the outbreak of coronavirus cases, US media reported Monday.

According to entertainment specialist The Wrap, the seventh instalment of the Paramount Pictures franchise was scheduled to shoot in Venice for three weeks.

"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," a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement to The Wrap.

The spokesperson added that Cruise had not traveled to Italy, and that crew members were allowed to return home until production started.

Italy reported its seventh death from the new coronavirus Monday, but officials called for calm and reported a lower rise in the number of infections after a spike over the weekend.

The number of cases now stood at 229, the head of Italy's civil protection department Angelo Borelli said at a press conference on Monday evening, the highest number in Europe.

In addition to "MI7," the spread of the virus has disrupted high-profile events including Milan Fashion Week and the Venice Carnival. On Monday evening, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced that six Serie A football matches would be played behind closed doors.

"Mission: Impossible VII" is due in theaters on July 23, 2021.