The world’s largest watch and jewelry event, Baselworld, has canceled its 2020 edition in Basel, Switzerland, announcing that it will be postponed until Jan. 28-Feb. 2, 2021 due to government measures enacted to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Baselworld news, released Friday, immediately follows the Swiss governing body’s ban on all large-scale events with 1,000 or more people until at least March 15, a move that was announced by the Swiss Federal Council on Friday.
The large Geneva Motor Show, which was due to take place March 2-15, was also canceled as a result of the Federal Council’s ban. Baselworld had been scheduled for April 30-May 5. According to the organizers, it draws 82,000 people at its annual event.
Acknowledging the impact this ban will have on public life in Switzerland, the group said that “the move is expected to provide effective protection to people in Switzerland and to public health. It should prevent or delay the spread of the disease in Switzerland, thus reducing its momentum.”
Switzerland’s federal office of public health has reported 15 cases of the virus, including in Geneva, Zurich, and Basel. More than 83,000 people have been affected across 53 countries as of Friday.
On Feb. 11, Bulgari pulled out of Baselworld, citing coronavirus. Several days ago, Citizen Watch Company announced the withdrawal of Citizen and Bulova from Baselworld due to the epidemic.
On Thursday, Watch & Wonders Geneva, formerly SIHH, announced that they’d cancel this year’s watch event, which was scheduled to take place April 25-29, due to concerns over the coronavirus, saying it was an effort to “protect the health and wellbeing of all our guests, press, partners and teams.”