The Studio Ghibli Museum has closed amid Coronavirus concerns grow. The animating house’s museum will temporarily shut down as per the government’s request.

As coronavirus continues to spread across the world, countries have gone to extreme lengths to prevent the infectious disease, which has been described by the World Health Organisation as a global health emergency.

With 770 cases of coronavirus recorded in Japan as of midday last Sunday, including 634 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, fears that the number of infected will continue to grow has prompted the cancellation of large-scale events and community gatherings around the country.

In accordance to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s decision to cancel or postpone its major indoor events for the foreseeable future, the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo’s Mitaka is taking precautions against the spread of the flu-like virus by announcing that it will be closing for a temporary period from 25 February to 17 March.

As one of the city’s most popular tourist spots, the Ghibli Museum welcomes over a thousand local and international visitors each day, making it a high-risk location for the spread of the coronavirus, which has been officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.

“We apologize to those who were looking forward to visiting the museum, however we will continue to monitor the situation as we move forward in the future, so we would be grateful if you could check our website (for future updates),” it continued.

The Ghibli Museum says it will issue a full refund to those who have pre-booked tickets for 25 February to 17 March, with details of the refund procedure to be announced shortly.