The decision to cancel the world championships comes a day after the International Skating Union (ISU) announced strict requirements for attending the event, including monitoring temperatures of skaters, coaches and officials.

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A statement from the ISU said: "With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Skate Canada and the International Skating Union (ISU), were informed today by the Government of Quebec that they have decided to cancel the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2020. The event was scheduled to take place from March 16-22, 2020 in Montreal at Centre Bell.

"The ISU and Skate Canada and have closely monitored the provincial and federal health authorities’ position on the spread of the virus and fully respect the difficult decision made today. Like the authorities, the ISU and Skate Canada are committed to the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators.

"The ISU therefore is unable to hold the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2020 at the above-mentioned planned date. The ISU thanks Skate Canada and all the partners involved in the preparation of the Event and for their cooperation during the critical monitoring phase leading up to this decision.

"Many stakeholders have been affected by the cancellation of the World Championships, the ISU and Skate Canada will be communicating directly with each group in the coming days. Any fan who has purchased tickets directly from the official ticket provider Evenko will receive details on the refund process in due course."

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