Switzerland bans all big events as virus fears mount

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:17s - Published
Switzerland bans all big events as virus fears mount

Switzerland bans all big events as virus fears mount

Switzerland has banned all events likely to attract more than 1,000 people as it battles to contain the coronavirus.

The Geneva Car Show and Swiss football matches are an early casualty.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.


Switzerland is taking dramatic steps to battle the coronavirus.

It's banned all events likely to see more than 1,000 people gather.

Among the first casualties was the Geneva car show.

It was due to start next week, but has now been cancelled.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW (GIMS) PRESIDENT SAYING: "Based on the decision rendered by the Swiss authority, we had to cancel the Geneva Motor Show.

It's not our responsibility, it was up to the federal decision." Automakers are scrambling to figure how and where to do dozens of new product launches.

Mercedes and BMW say they will just live stream their events instead.

Geneva's Watches & Wonders fair has also been cancelled.

It's usually one of the watchmaking industry's big events.

And the impact of the ban soon reached far beyond business.

The Swiss soccer league says it has cancelled all of the weekend's matches.

It's considering playing future games behind closed doors.

The annual Engadin ski marathon - which usually draws 14,000 skiers - had already been cancelled.

Switzerland introduced the ban after the number of confirmed cases there rose to 15.

Anyone, anywhere with a big event to run, will be watching to see if their country follows suit.

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