Organizers of every kind of occasions, from the largest worldwide concert events and conferences to the smallest group gatherings, are dealing with onerous questions on whether or not to hold on as deliberate.
They all face the identical conundrum: Is a public gathering well worth the danger of spreading the brand new coronavirus?
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the bigger occasions around the globe which were modified or canceled.
Widespread closings have been introduced all through Europe this week. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy introduced on Monday that public gatherings have been banned and that folks can be allowed to journey just for work or for emergencies. Even church companies are prohibited.
Ireland’s authorities canceled all St. Patrick’s Day parades, together with Dublin’s. (Boston, which has a strong Irish-American inhabitants, canceled its parade, too.) Several places in Germany, including Berlin, closed all state theaters, concert halls and opera houses. Austria banned indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
The Auschwitz Memorial said on Wednesday that it would be closed until March 25.
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has asked the organizers of sports and cultural events to consider postponing or canceling them. Tokyo’s Nakameguro district canceled its Cherry Blossom Festival. The Japan National Tourism Organization is maintaining a list of attractions and events that have been canceled.
Austin, Texas, canceled the 34th-annual South by Southwest festival after tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, withdrew their participation. The sprawling music, tech and film festival was to run from March 13 to 22, with events planned throughout bars and party spaces across the city, and at a convention center. Festival organizers have said that they did not have insurance to cover cancellation by pandemics or communicable disease, and that they would be laying off a third of their full-time staff.
The Tucson Festival of Books, which was planned for March 14 and 15, was also canceled. The book festival is one of the biggest in the country and usually draws over 100,000 people to Tucson, Ariz. The Los Angeles Times postponed its 25th-annual Festival of Books, originally scheduled to take place next month on the University of Southern California campus, until October.
The organizers of the giant Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which takes place in the picturesque desert of Southern California and is seen as a bellwether for the multibillion-dollar touring industry, have postponed the festival until October.
The festival will now take place in October. Tickets that were purchased for April will be honored in October.
Hollywood has been watching the spread of the virus closely, and expecting a major impact on box office sales. In one of the industry’s first significant responses, the producers of the latest movie in the James Bond franchise, “No Time to Die,” announced they would move its release from April to November.
In the first major cancellations of the presidential race because of concerns about the coronavirus, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. called off campaign events in Cleveland on Tuesday. Ohio has three confirmed cases of the virus, and Gov. Mike DeWine has called for limiting public gatherings.
Others have taken place with major changes, like the Tokyo Marathon, which was restricted to elite runners. Formula One has said that its upcoming Grand Prix in Bahrain will be closed to spectators, while the Chinese Grand Prix, which had been scheduled for April, was postponed.
Italy and Iran, which are contending with major outbreaks, have canceled sporting events, and Greece barred spectators for a two-week period. Professional soccer games in Spain and Portugal will also take place in empty stadiums for at least two weeks, officials said on Tuesday. A day earlier, FIFA said it would postpone the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The BNP Paribas Open, a major tennis tournament that was scheduled to take place in Indian Wells, Calif., beginning this week, was canceled after local health officials declared a public health emergency in the Coachella Valley because of a locally acquired case of the coronavirus.
Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League have limited locker room access to only players and essential team staff members.
Conferences and education
Many businesses and professional organizations postponed or canceled conferences, including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, which had organized a global health conference scheduled to take place in Orlando, Fla. President Trump had been among the scheduled speakers.
Google canceled its I/O developer event near Palo Alto, Calif., which was scheduled for May. The company usually announces new products and developments at the event.
The New York International Auto Show that was scheduled for April has been postponed. The show is now scheduled to run Aug. 28 to Sept. 6.
“We are taking this extraordinary step to help protect our attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the coronavirus,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which owns the show.
Schools in Italy, Iran, China, South Korea, Japan and elsewhere have been closed because of the outbreak. This week, many American educational institutions announced they would also cancel classes. In one of the most far-reaching decisions, Harvard ordered all undergraduate students to move out of their dormitories by March 15 and said it would conduct all classes online through the spring semester. New York University, the University of Florida, Ohio State University, Columbia University and Princeton University were among the schools that announced they would move to online instruction.
Tariro Mzezewa, Neil Vigdor, Ben Sisario and Matthew Anderson contributed reporting.