The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Iran has forced the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism to abort the nationwide Nowruz celebrations and enforce the closure of all museums as well as the cultural and historic sites in the new year’s holidays across the country.
Iranian Minister of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Ali-Asghar Mounesan sent letters to the director generals of the Ministry’s offices in all 31 provinces in the country, ordering them to cancel the Nowruz festivals and shut down the museums during the new year’s holidays.
The new Iranian year 1399 will begin on March 20 and the holidays last for some two weeks.
“The museums, castle museums, and the cultural-historic sites should be closed during the official holidays of Nowruz,” the minister said in the letter.
Mounesan has also ordered that the working hours of the museums, castle museums, and the cultural-historic places be restricted to the minimum legal hours before Nowruz until a further decision is made by the administration and the Coronavirus Fight National Headquarters.
The minister has also announced that the decision to cancel the Nowruz festivals is part of the precautionary and preventive measures to contain the contagious disease.
Apart from the cancellation of all Nowruz events, arrangements must be made to prevent any gathering of people at the tourism and cultural sites and resorts, the minister concluded.
Iran’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday that the number of coronavirus infections has risen to 9,000, out of whom 354 have died and 2,959 have recovered and been discharged from the hospital.