The Geneva International Motor Show, originally set to launch with a media day on March 2 and a public show running until March 15, has officially been cancelled. The cancellation is the result of concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus and the Swiss government's decision to ban all events with more than 1,000 spectators until at least March 15.
"In view of the current situation and the spread of the coronavirus, the Federal Council has categorised the situation in Switzerland as ‘special’ in terms of the Epidemics Act. Large-scale events involving more than 1,000 people are to be banned. The ban comes into immediate effect and will apply at least until 15 March," the Swiss Federal Council said in a statement. More than 500 have been tested for the virus in that country, and as of this writing, 15 total cases had been confirmed including three in Geneva.
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"We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors' top priority. 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," said Maurice Turrettini, Chairman of the Foundation Board for the show.
Event organizers have said that the show will not take place, rather than announcing a delay like the organizers of the Beijing auto show, originally set to take place in April. There's no word yet on any changes to the New York International Auto Show, the next major show set to take place in early April. No automakers have yet announced plans to reschedule product debuts expected to happen at the show.