Chinese New Year festival cancelled in Melbourne

The 2020 Box Hill Chinese New Year Festival has been cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak which has made its way to Australia.

The organisers said the decision was made for “cultural and commercial reasons and out of respect for the difficulties currently being experienced by many people”.

The announcement follows news that Victoria’s second case of coronavirus has been confirmed, with a man in his 60s who had travelled to Wuhan in China diagnosed yesterday.

Speaking on 3AW, Whitehorse Councillor Sharon Ellis said the announcement came out of the blue.

“We thought it could possibly be discussed, but all of a sudden we got the announcement,” she said.

The celebrations which attract thousands of people are expected to be rescheduled at a later date.

Overseas, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced that Paris-based Chinese associations have cancelled a Lunar New Year parade due to the oubreak, while Hong Kong has cancelled a fireworks show and a four-day carnival that was set to begin Sunday because of concerns about the virus.