Events closed due to coronavirus outbreak


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed advice not to attend gatherings of more than 500 people — effective as of Monday.

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Here’s a list of the events and businesses that have been postponed or cancelled:

AUSTRALIA

St Patrick’s Day

Sydney’s St Patrick’s Day parade was canned on Saturday.

The festival, due to be held in the Rocks on Sunday, was cancelled after “further reflection” by the event organisers.

Royal Easter Show

Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, which was due to start in three weeks, was announced to be cancelled on Saturday.

Major cruise ship operators

Major cruise lines P&O Australia, Carnival and Cruise & Maritime Voyages have all paused operations for a month after the government warned against gatherings of more than 500 people.

P&O’s suspension of operations will start tonight and last until April 12.

All of the company’s ships will be affected. In Brisbane, the Pacific Dawn’s cruise – scheduled to depart today – will not go ahead. The Pacific Aria, which is on a cruise to Tasmania, will instead return to Adelaide on Monday.

Carnival’s suspension will start on Sunday and last until April 13. Its two ships at sea will complete their voyages and return to Sydney as scheduled.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages on Saturday announced the “temporary suspension of all worldwide cruise operations for embarkations taking place from today for six weeks” until April 24.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Organisers announced that the much-loved event would not be going ahead last night, after Scott Morrison’s advice that non-essential mass gatherings should be cancelled.

“Our primary concern is the health and welfare of our artists and participants, staff and audiences. Cancelling the Festival is heartbreaking but the only decision possible to support the community’s efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).”

AFL spectators

The AFL season will open next week, but fans will not be allowed to attend matches for the foreseeable future.

“We are working through a major issue that impacts the wider community and we will work with all our clubs and industry partners to ensure that footy finds a way,” AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan said in a statement.

The AFL will continue to look at fixture alternatives to complete the season.

Good Friday Appeal fundraising events

The Good Friday Appeal telethon is still expected to go ahead but it has canned fundraising events Run for the Kids on March 29 and the Kids Day Out on April 10.

“This is the right decision at this time but be assured our Good Friday Appeal telethon, which is rightly held in such great affection by all Victorians, will go ahead,” Channel 7’s managing director Melbourne Lewis Martin said in a statement.

“For the sake of the children, their families and medical staff who do so much good work it’s imperative that we keep the fundraising in place right up to Good Friday, and beyond.”

Australia F1 Grand Prix

On Friday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the Australian Grand Prix would not be allowed to run with spectators present.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Paul Little apologised to fans for the sudden cancellation.

“The health and safety and welfare of the teams and people, the community generally, has to take precedence … and we look forward to hopefully being able to run this event at some later stage,” he said.

Bendigo’s 150th Easter Fair

The 150th Bendigo Easter Fair has been cancelled this year.

Bendigo Easter Fair Society president Simon Mulqueen said people needed to follow the direction of the government to keep the community safe.

“The Bendigo Easter Festival needs to happen at Easter. It would not be the same at any other time and we would not want to condense such a special anniversary into just a weekend,” Mr Mulqueen said.

“I know many people have worked hard but all is not lost, we’ll just continue to channel our efforts into preparing for our 150th anniversary celebrations to take place in 2021.”

Flight centre stores

Virus-bruised travel agency Flight Centre will close up to 100 underperforming stores and has scrapped its earnings guidance amid mounting airline service cuts and widening travel bans.

The company said on Friday that the stores will close before June 30, and sales staff will transfer to others, as part of moves to cushion the cost of the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of cutting costs, Flight Centre directors will forgo 30 per cent of their fees for the remainder of the financial year.

Some stores will reduce trading hours, and staff will be encouraged to take leave.

Recruitment will be suspended, and non-essential projects deferred.

OVERSEAS

Apple announces store closures

Computing giant Apple has announced it will close all of its stores outside of Greater China in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

All retail stores outside of Greater China (which includes territories like Hong Kong and Taiwan) will be closed until March 27.

Apple has 22 stores in Australia.

Christchurch remembrance

New Zealand has cancelled a memorial planned Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings in which 51 people died.

The country’s leader Jacinda Ardern said more general restrictions on public gatherings would be imposed but details had not yet been finalised.

Canadian parliament

The Canadian government has shut down parliament after Justin Trudeau’s wife tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Canadian leader currently remains in self-imposed quarantine.

Religious festivals

Religious festivals across the world are in doubt thanks to the coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia has banned overseas visitors since the end of February, meaning those wishing to do the Hajj in the holy sites of Mecca and Medina will be unable to do so.

The Pope’s daily 7am mass has been barred to the public, with The Vatican instead opting to livestream it.

Disney parks and cruises

All Disney theme parks worldwide will be closed beginning March 16 including Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. Disney Cruise Line is also closed.

Major sporting events

A massive number of major international sporting events have been cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

These include the NBA, NHL, World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, the NCAA Tournament, La Liga soccer league, Inter Milan soccer club, annual marathons in Boston, New York City, Tokyo, China and Paris, the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Championship, Major League Rugby and the World Women’s Curling Championship.



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