EEAA calls on government not to ban public events

The Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has called on the federal government to dispel fears over public events regarding the coronavirus.

EEAA chief executive Claudia Sagripanti has requested the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, make a public statement declaring that there is no reason to cancel or postpone events such as exhibitions, conferences and other business meetings over fears of coronavirus.

“We want to reassure event attendees that events are, and can continue, operating in light of current advice from government,” she said.

“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.”

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) released a statement on 8 March stating that “public events should proceed”.

“But [we] strongly recommend people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms should not attend public events or gatherings,” they stated.

However, the EEAA has urged the government to elevate the message and call for calm in the community.

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

“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.”

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