Geneva Auto Show Canceled As Switzerland Bans Public Events Amid Virus Fears  

The 90th edition of the Geneva Motor Show (March 5-15) has been canceled following the Swiss government's ban on all public events that gather more than 1,000 people until March 15 due to new fears Covid-19 is rapidly spreading across Europe. 

Maurice Turrettini, president of the Geneva International Motor Show Foundation, said: "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."

"A few days before the opening of the event, the construction of the stands was very nearly complete. A week ago, during the press conferences announcing the 2020 edition, there was nothing to suggest that such a measure was necessary. The situation changed with the appearance of the first confirmed coronavirus diseases in Switzerland and the injunction of the Federal Council on 28.02.2020. The event is canceled due to this decision. 

In the meantime, the dismantling of the event will now have to be organized. 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 organizers will communicate about this as soon as possible, via their website."

The Geneva car show is one of the biggest in the world, so it's a blow to automakers who were planning on debuting new models. 

This comes as Switzerland reported 15 confirmed virus cases. It borders northern Italy, which has the largest amount of cases and deaths in Europe.