Tehran’s major museums open during Noruz despite corona fear

March 10, 2020 - 19:47

TEHRAN – Tehran’s major museums and historical places will be open during Noruz (Iranian new year holidays, starting March 21) despite the outbreak of coronavirus.

The National Museum of Iran, Niavaran Cultural Historical Complex, Sa'dabad Cultural-Historical Complex, and the National Museum of the Holy Quran will be open to the public according to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts ISNA reported on Monday.

The ministry has closed its affiliated cultural heritage museums and historical sites as of February 23 in 15 provinces in a preventive measure and until further notice.

Earlier this month, tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan asked the nation to postpone or reschedule tours so as to help the tourism industry over the virus outbreak.

“My suggestion to my dear people is that they do not cancel their hotel reservations and domestic tours as far as possible in order to help the tourism industry and prevent it from bankruptcy by making their reservations in time after virus is controlled.”

Domestic travel and subsequently visiting museums and historical sites reach traditionally its climax from mid-March to early April, a time corresponding to the Noruz holidays. Iranians made 74 million overnight stays in their domestic trips during the Noruz holidays last year, which showed a 20 percent increase year on year.

Iranian authorities have also limited travel between its major cities in an effort to halt the virus spread. A ban on traffic on some of the country’s roads, particularly [roads to] touristic provinces, was approved and put into practice as of March 5 evening to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 8,042, with 2,731 recovered and 291 dead, official sources announced on Tuesday.

The U.S.-based Global Business Travel Association has predicted that the coronavirus could scythe $560 billion from spending on corporate global travel this year, a 37 percent drop from its 2020 global expenditure forecast, as meetings and events are canceled and companies limit travel to protect employees.

AFM/MG

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