Call for government to declare events safe despite COVID-19

The event industry has called on the government to make a public statement declaring it is safe to hold events.

Australia’s event and exhibition industry body has called on the government to make a public statement declaring that, despite fears regarding COVID-19, there is no reason to cancel or postpone events at this time.

Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) chief executive Claudia Sagripanti has requested the Australian Government’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, to declare public events low risk for the spread of the virus.

“We want to reassure event attendees that events are, and can continue, operating in light of current advice from government,” she said.

The call comes after the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) released a statement on 8 March stating:

“At this time the AHPPC consider that public events should proceed, but strongly recommend people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms should not attend public events or gatherings.”

However, the EEAA is asking the government to elevate the message and call for calm in the community.

“We are constantly monitoring the developing situation,” said Sagripanti.

“We are drawing on current advice and information provided by both federal and state government authorities and the recommended precautions from the World Health Organisation.

“At this time, there is no clear reason for events to be cancelled.”

Sagripanti added the industry has implemented guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and UFI, such as additional cleaning procedures, providing hand sanitisers, upgrading workplace heath and safety protocols and asking event attendees who feel unwell to stay home.

Information sessions

To support the businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, EEAA is partnering with Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) to host COVID-19 Information Exchanges, in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide next week.

The Chief Medical Office and Health Departments have been invited to answer questions from the industry.

Find out more here.

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