The coronavirus outbreak has cancelled a number of events in Italy, and it’s having travel impacts elsewhere in Europe.
The death toll from the illness has risen to 12 in Italy as the outbreak in the country continues to worsen, particularly in the Veneto and Lombardy regions.
This week officials in Venice, which is in Veneto, cancelled the last two days of Carnival celebrations, which had been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. One of the most iconic Carnival celebrations worldwide, the event draws approximately 3 million tourists yearly to the city.
Additionally, the Italian Exhibition Group Board of Directors has opted to postpone the following events that had been planned for the month of March:
- MIR TECH Live Entertainment Expo
- ENADA SPRING the International Amusement and Gaming Show
- RIMINI AMUSEMENT SHOW
- ABILMENTE VICENZA the Creative Idea Show (spring edition)
The first three shows had been scheduled to be held at the Rimini Expo Center in the Emilia-Romagna region, while ABILMENTE was planned for the Vicenze Expo Center. ENADA PRIMAVERA and the RIMINI AMUSEMENT SHOW will now take place April 21 - 23, while ABILMENTE VICENZA has been postponed to May 21 - 24. The new dates for MIR TECH will be announced shortly.
In Milan, which is part of the Lombardy region, organizers of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, an event for the furnishing and design sector that draws over 370,000 professional visitors annually, have postponed the show to June 16 - 21. The event had originally been scheduled for April 21 - 26. The show will still be held at the Rho Fiera Milano, officials said.
Officials also limited access to many Milan Fashion Week events. That series has been taking place from February 18 – 24. Other events in the city have likewise been postponed or cancelled, tourism officials report:
- Moncler Genius 2020 has been cancelled
- The Mido fair, originally scheduled for February 29 to March 2, has been postponed to the end of May
In the wider Lombardy region, all public events – including those of cultural, recreational, sporting and religious nature – have been suspended, even if carried out in closed places open to the public. Officials have likewise suspended access to museums and other cultural institutions. Schools are also closed.
In Germany, a 25-year-old man living in the southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg tested positive for the virus after a trip to Milan, Reuters reports. Another man is in critical condition due to the illness. There are currently 18 confirmed cases of the virus in the country.
The ongoing outbreak has caused German airline group Lufthansa to make a number of cutbacks, which it announced this week. All new hires will be reassessed, suspended or deferred to a later date, and the company is offering employees unpaid leave, effective immediately. The company has also cancelled all flight attendant and station personnel training courses that had been planned through April 2020, and it is examining the expansion of part-time work options.
Previously, the airline group had already cancelled all flights by Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines to and from mainland China until the end of the winter flight schedule on March 28. Capacity has also been cut back on routes to Hong Kong, and additional frequency adjustments to and from Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich are planned.
In Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, approximately 1,000 travelers were placed on lockdown this week after a hotel guest tested positive for the coronavirus. Three more people have now tested positive for the illness, according to the New York Post; these guests, along with the initial patient, were all part of a group of 10 people who had traveled from Italy’s Lombardy region. Approximately 100 guests have been cleared to leave because it has been determined they never came in contact with that group. The remaining guests are being monitored for coronavirus symptoms.