Geneva Motor Show Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Concerns
Swiss Government Prohibits Events With More than 1,000 People
The 2020 Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been cancelled amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus known as Covid-19. An injunction decision made by the Swiss Federal Council on February 28 prohibits any event with more than 1,000 people in attendance until March 15, unfortunately encompassing the entire public and media run of the Geneva Motor Show.
Geneva Motor Show Exhibitors Affected
According to a public statement issued by the show, its organizers accept the decision. "We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors' top priority," said GIMS Foundation Board Chairman Maurice Turrettini. "This is a case of force majeure and a tremendous loss for the manufacturers who have invested massively in their presence in Geneva. However, we are convinced that they will understand this decision. "
It seems as though automakers are in agreement. A statement from Audi of America acknowledges that the decision to cancel the Geneva Motor Show is in the best interest of the health and safety of all participants and the company's employees. What's more, the company will reschedule the premieres of those vehicles that would have been shown in Geneva.
The Morgan Motor Company, a boutique English sports car manufacturer, will hold its own premiere events as scheduled, following a revised format (and obviously a new venue). The same can be said of the supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive. Other Geneva Motor Show debuts, such as the first public appearance of the 2021 Kia Sorento, have yet to be rescheduled or fleshed out in full.
Coronavirus in Switzerland and Elsewhere
Switzerland has 13 known cases of the novel coronavirus called Covid-19 on record, including three in the city of Geneva. All but one of the confirmed cases involve people who had recently been in Italy—including two Italian schoolchildren on vacation in Switzerland. That country has had 650 infections and 17 deaths linked to Covid-19.
According to Swiss news outlet SWI, the country is not taking other measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. However, it will consider other actions, such as closing schools, if authorities believe that the spread of the virus isn't under control.
American authorities continue to stress that overall risk to the general public is relatively low, with about 60 confirmed coronavirus cases in the entire nation. However, health officials recommend frequent handwashing, avoiding touching one's face, and self-quarantine if one exhibits flu-like symptoms. Healthcare officials also suggest that individuals with symptoms of Covid-19 to first contact a doctor or medical professional remotely, i.e. via phone or video-chat, before coming into a doctor's office or emergency room.