The organisers of next week’s event are in close contact with health authorities

As the first boats were nudged into place, organisers of the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show said their event will be held March 11-15, as scheduled.

“Yes, the show will definitely take place,” the event’s PR & Communications Manager Katelijn Wilhelmy told IBI.

She said organisers of the show at Amsterdam’s RAI events complex are in close contact with health authorities. Any cancellation or postponement decision “will be taken in consultation” with them, Wilhelmy said.

A week before the show’s scheduled opening, the government reported a sharp hike in coronavirus cases, from 38 to 82. Health Minister Bruno Bruins called that “a substantial increase [and] we expect more.”

In the Netherlands, the coronavirus has claimed its first fatality, an 86-year-old man. Neighbouring Belgium reported 59 new infection cases, pushing the total to 109.

Wilhelmy said show visitors, exhibitors, employees and suppliers are urged to wash or disinfect their hands frequently, sneeze and cough into a paper tissue, and greet each other verbally or with the wave of a hand.

Reaction to the outbreak and worldwide spread of the coronavirus has been mixed. Several boat shows have been cancelled or rescheduled as governments impose travel bans or limit attendance to 5,000 people (France) or even 1,000 people (Switzerland).

In the US, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NNMA) has not yet cancelled or postponed any of its own shows.