The World HealthOrganisation yesterday lifted its travel advice against non-essential travel toToronto, effective today. It is a welcome relief for Canada'slargest production centre, which was bracing for a collapse of US productions.The city suffered an instantaneous downturn in tourism and convention businesswhen WHO posted the advice April 23. As of April 28 (Monday), only one featurefilm shooting in Toronto, Miramax's Shall We Dance, had decided to change locations based on theadvisory.
Shall We Dance, a remake of the 1996 Japanese hit set to starJennifer Lopez and Richard Gere, was scheduled to shoot June 23 in Toronto. Acompany spokesperson told Screendaily that Miramax production executives madethe decision Monday, spurred by the WHO travel advisory. The spokespersonobserved that Winnipeg served the film very well from a creative perspective.
Intense lobbying by Canadianofficials at WHO's Geneva headquarters Tuesday yielded the reprieve,swaying WHO officials with data indicating that the magnitude of probable SARScases has decreased, that 20 days have passed since the last cases of communitytransmission occurred, and no new confirmed exportation of cases has occurred.Canadian authorities have also agreed to "pro-active" passengerscreening at airports. The city retains its status as an "affectedarea".