Coronavirus has killed the Geneva Motor Show
So, about all those cars we've been talking about in recent weeks. The ones that were due to get their global premieres at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland next month.
Yeah, not happening now. Sorry.
Because of the increasing spread of the coronavirus Covid-19, Swiss authorities have laid down a ban on gatherings of 1,000 or more, which means the Geneva Motor Show can't go ahead.
"Get away from that BMW, it could be infected"
The Swiss government said in a statement: "An extraordinary meeting of the Federal Council was held today, 28 February. 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 1000 people are to be banned. The ban comes into immediate effect and will apply at least until 15 March."
The organisers of the show accepted the decision. "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.
It's not the first motoring event to be cancelled because of pandemic fears. The Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, due to take place in April, has also been called off.