Speculation over the Cannes Film Festival in the light of the coronavirus pandemic ended on Friday, when festival organisers announced that the annual event will not be held between May 12 and 23.

“Several hypotheses are being studied in order to preserve their progress, the main one of which would be a simple postponement, in Cannes, late June - early July 2020,” the festival announced on its website.

Of the over two lakh and 40,000 cases in the world, France has close to 11,000 and 372 fatalities till date. COVID-19 has been spread rapidly through France and neighbouring Italy and Spain. Several tourist sites have been shut in France, including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, and restaurants and cinemas have also been shuttered. The French government has banned public gatherings of over a hundred people.

“The festival hasn’t had to cancel an edition since socio-economic protests hampered the 1968 festival and that was only halfway through the event,” Deadline noted. “In 2003, SARS resulted in lighter attendance from Asia, but it has been 70 years since a Cannes Film Festival didn’t happen at all.”

The announcement follows the postponement of the Cannes Lion advertising festival until October. Originally planned for between June 22 and 26, Cannes Lion will now be held from October 26-30.