Chinese online ticketing platforms Maoyan and Taopiaopiao has informed its customers that they can cancel their cinema tickets and request refunds due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the region.

As of this morning, Wuhan became the second city in the country to go into lockdown in an effort to control the spread of the new virus, which has already killed 17 people.

Maoyan and Taopiaopiao said all those in Wuhan who have purchased movie tickets during Chinese New Year holiday will be able to get refunds without being charged a fee.

According to Xiaoyu, data shows that Wuhan was the eighth largest ticket consumer in the country on last year’s Chinese New Year Day with 25.09 million tickets sold. However, so far this year, the Chinese New Year day pre-sale box office currently ranks 14th and might continue to fall with only 3.23 million tickets sold.

One theatre manager, Mr. Liu, told Xiaoyu that refund rates have reached more than 20 per cent in past two days. He added: “Whenever someone wants to refund the ticket, we refund it very easily. This will indeed cause a lot of direct losses, but after all, there is an epidemic and there is no way.”