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Australasia event association calls for government to dispel fears about public events

The trade body representing Australasia’s events and exhibition sector has requested the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy to make a public statement declaring that despite fears regarding the coronavirus, there is no reason to cancel or postpone events such as exhibitions, conferences and other business meetings. 

Claudia Sagripanti, Chief Executive of the Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), said it was important the Australian government does what other governments have done internationally, and 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. 

“The industry has already responded by implementing guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and the global leader in exhibitions UFI, such as additional cleaning procedures, providing hand sanitisers, upgrading WHS protocols and asking event attendees who feel unwell to stay home,” said Ms Sagripanti.

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 calls for the government to elevate the message and call for calm in the community. 

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

To support the businesses affected, EEAA in conjunction with Meetings & Events Association (MEA) will host Covid-19 Information Exchanges, in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. 

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

“The events and exhibition industry is resilient, however, we need to know that all is being done to support this sector which contributes over AUD$28bn to the economy and provides 180,000 jobs.”

Information Exchanges details: https://eeaa.com.au/event/covid-19-information-exchanges/

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