Geneva car show organizers urge exhibitors to make health checks

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The organizers of the Geneva car show on Tuesday pressed exhibitors from coronavirus-infected areas to check staff for symptoms before arriving in Switzerland and pledged to step up cleaning and disinfection at the congress center.

Geneva is set to host the show next week but restrictions on travel have caused other fairs including the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Frankfurt’s Light + Building fair and the Beijing Auto Show to be postponed or canceled.

“In the context of the coronavirus epidemic afflicting China, Palexpo SA is carefully observing the situation and its possible implications,” the Geneva exhibition center said.

“The organizers encourage exhibitors from at-risk areas to ensure that their staff pass the necessary checks and do not show any symptoms of infection in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Switzerland, so as to avoid any risk of spread.”

Palexpo said it is in regular contact with the General Directorate of Health of the Republic and Canton of Geneva and its medical advisor to develop a sanitary action plan, adjustable in real time.

The Geneva car show will include visitors and exhibitors from Northern Italy, such as Ferrari’s Chief Executive Louis Camilleri and Chinese executives from Smart, a brand which is jointly run by Germany’s Daimler and China’s Geely.

On Monday, the World Health Organisation, which is also based in Geneva, said there was no need to adopt measures which “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade.”

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Kirsten Donovan