Amidst fears over the global spread of coronavirus, the organisers of the Cologne International Hardware Fair have issued a statement on the potential impact on the show.
Fielding concerned enquiries from exhibitors and potential visitors, the fastener and tool-relevant show confirmed that at present, it is "proceeding as planned", but with a heightened level of vigilance and measures (full statement below).
The Hardware Fair has a significant number of exhibitors and visitors coming from China - the nation currently hardest hit by the coronavirus. Overseas visitors make up over 70% of total attendees at the show, while 87% of exhibitors are from overseas.
British Airways is among the airlines to have suspended flights to and from China, while the UK's Foreign Office has warned against all but essential travel to mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). News continues to break on the situation, with Sky News among those today reporting that Britons returning from Wuhan will be quarantined for two weeks in a military base.
International show calendar disruption?
As the situation develops, the implications for other global shows in the coming weeks and months - not just in the fastener and tool world, like the Taiwan International Fastener Show in April - are currently being weighed up by show organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike.
This is the full statement from the Cologne International Hardware Fair organisers, correct as at 11:15am, 29 January 2020:
Dear Exhibitors, dear Visitors of INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR,
We are currently receiving enquiries about whether a potential threat from the occurrence of the corona virus in China will have an impact on INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR.
Koelnmesse takes the matter seriously and has initiated a level of heightened vigilance. This also includes us being in permanent dialogue with the health authorities. The competent institutions in Germany and Cologne do not currently anticipate a direct threat. Germany is well prepared to identify, isolate and, where necessary, treat potential patients.
This means: the preparations for INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR are proceeding as planned. We are looking forward to your participation. We will advise you on constructive precautionary measures and be increasing disinfectant supplies at the event grounds.
We will naturally keep you informed.
There are less than five weeks to go to the Cologne Hardware Fair and Torque will continue to update on the potential impact of the coronavirus.
There are more details on Cologne's International Hardware Fair in our preview.