GENEVA, Switzerlalnd – The Swiss government has banned gatherings of 1000 people or more due to concerns over the coronavirus. The ban is effective immediately and runs at least until March 15 2020.
The 90th edition of GIMS was scheduled to start next week. There was no immediate information on whether the huge media contingent would be able to visit the halls, as they do for every auto show, under the ‘1000 people’ rule.
The Geneva Motor Show isn’t the biggest car show in the world but it’s the one where automakers typically like to announce their flashiest, most future-facing, vehicles and concepts. Last year saw the debut of “megacars” such as the Koenigsegg Jesko, VW’s electric dune buggy concept, and the Pininfarina Battista, one of the fastest electric vehicles on the planet.
SPORT EVENTS ALSO CANCELLED
Geneva is the latest trade show to get the axe following the coronavirus outbreak. In the tech world, the most notable have been the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, which is the biggest smartphone show in the world, and Facebook’s F8 developer conference.
Some sporting events have been cancelled, too. Both Formula 1 and Formula E have cancelled races in China and the International Olympic Committee has faced increasing questions about this year’s summer Olympics in Japan.
ATTEMPT TO OPEN THWARTED
Palexpo, the foundation that puts on the Geneva Motor Show, had tried to keep it afloat by issuing a slate of warnings to attendees. It said it would increase the rate of cleaning and disinfection around the convention centre and asked exhibitors from “at-risk areas” to screen their staff.
Attendees must regularly wash their hands and keep at least a metre away from anyone “who is coughing or sneezing”.