The Geneva International Motor Show 2020 has been cancelled due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
Maurice Turrettini, Chairman of the Foundation Board, says: "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."
In a statement, the organisers add: 'The dismantling of the event will now have to be organised. The financial consequences for all those involved in the event are significant and will need to be assessed over the coming weeks. One thing is certain: tickets already purchased for the event will be refunded. The organisers will communicate about this as soon as possible, via their website'.
Earlier the Swiss Government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
Following an extraordinary meeting of the country's Federal Council, it released the following statement:-
'This ban on events comes into immediate effect and will apply at least until 15 March. The cantons are responsible for enforcing the ban.
'In the case of public or private events at which fewer than 1000 people would gather, event organisers must carry out a risk assessment in conjunction with the competent cantonal authorities to decide whether or not the event can be held.
'The Federal Council is aware that this measure will have a significant impact on public life in Switzerland. However, the move is expected to provide effective protection to people in Switzerland and to public health. It should prevent or delay the spread of the disease in Switzerland, thus reducing its momentum'.
Daimler AG put out this statement on its Twitter feed:-
@GimsSwisswill not take place due to #COVID2019. #Daimler and @MercedesBenz support the decision by the Swiss authorities. The health of everyone involved has top priority. It is the right decision not to take any unpredictable risks.
We'll have full updates throughout the day.