London Wine Fair ‘going ahead as planned’ as coronavirus disrupts global trade show calendar

The London Wine Fair will still go ahead “as planned” in May as trade shows around the world have been pushed back to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

(Photo: Anthony Upton)

The London Wine Fair is set to attract thousands of professionals from the wine, spirits, beer and cider industries to London’s Kensington Olympia exhibition hall between 18 and 20 May.

The organisers said they are working closely with the venue, Olympia, and we will “continue to follow advice from the Government, the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England”, in a statement on the event’s website posted on Monday (2 March).

The news comes after Messe Düsseldorf said it was postponing a series of trade fairs set to take place in the exhibition centre, including ProWein, Wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe. The group said it will “promptly discuss alternative trade fair dates in order to guarantee planning can reliably proceed.” A number of shows have also been cancelled altogether in China, while the dates for Vinexpo Hong Kong and ProWine Asia in Singapore have also moved to later this year.

Some European wine businesses have threatened to pull out of trade tastings in the UK. The number cases in Italy has jumped to 655, including 17 deaths, and the Italian government was forced to quarantine 11 towns last week until 6 March, including 10 in Lombardy, and also Vò, meaning residents aren’t able to leave until at least 6 March. The total number of cases across the country has risen to more than 2,000, and the death toll has risen from 18 to 52, according to the most recent official reports in Italy.

LWF said in a statement: “We recognise the increased uncertainty that coronavirus may be causing. This situation will remain under review and we will continue to provide regular updates.”

“As you will be aware, the UK risk level for coronavirus has been increased from low to moderate. However, the risk to individuals has not changed and remains low. At this point in time London Wine Fair 2020 will be going ahead as planned.”

In an effort to contain the situation, organisers have said there will be extra hand sanitisers available on site, plus a small stock of masks and individual sanitisers that will be available on request, although attendees are encouraged to bring their own.

All Olympia London employees and service partners have also been provided with health information, as per World Health Organisation, NHS and UK Government guidelines.

Anyone who is due to attend London Wine Fair and believes they could have contracted the virus is being encouraged to stay indoors, whether at home or their hotel, and contact the NHS on 111.

Attendees travelling from outside of the UK might not be able to call 111. The alternative number is 0300 020 0155.

More information is available on the LWF website.

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