The 2020 Brussels seafood show has been canceled, organizers of the event announced Thursday.
On Wednesday, Belgium’s National Security Council (CNS) extended the country’s coronavirus lockdown measures until May 3. It also said there will be no mass events, such as summer festivals, until at least Aug. 31.
Diversified Communications, which operates the Boston and Brussels seafood shows, sent a survey to Brussels show exhibitors March 18 asking for their input on rescheduling the show -- which was originally slated for April 21-23 -- to June 23-25. At that time, show organizers acknowledged there was still plenty of uncertainty regarding the coronavirus.
“[We have] reluctantly determined that the continued and expanding magnitude of the public health and safety issues caused by COVID-19 worldwide now requires the cancellation of the 2020 edition of Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global,” said Diversified Communications Group Vice President Liz Plizga.
Diversified will be contacting companies that were planning on exhibiting at the expo to give them more information about the cancellation, she said.
What about the Boston show?
The fate of the Boston seafood show is still unknown.
Currently, several states are developing longer-term plans for when and how they will lift COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, for example, on Tuesday said large gatherings within the state in June, July and August were unlikely.
Diversified has rescheduled the March Boston seafood show to September, but the health situation looks similar to other US states. Lockdown measures restricting large gatherings have been extended to May 4 but could be extended further.
The United States has also suspended travel from more than a dozen countries, including: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, China, and Iran.
The US government has also closed its borders with Canada and Mexico except for nonessential travel.
If these restrictions remain in place into the fall, it would severely restrict the ability of international visitors to attend the Boston show.
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