The Tire Cologne: Government decree casts shadow over show

We “have to think very carefully about what we can do without”: NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann says trade fairs should be cancelled (Photo: Land NRW)

No comment yet from organiser Koelnmesse, so perhaps it is too early to speculate on the fate of this year’s The Tire Cologne. Officially it is business with usual, with around 600 companies and brands expected to display their wares between 9 and 12 June. But with the show just three months’ away, Koelnmesse must decide its response to a new decree that restricts large events.

The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) decreed yesterday that local authorities should cancel events expected to attract more than 1,000 participants, effective immediately. NRW, home to the tyre trade show’s host city, is currently the German state with the largest number of coronavirus cases.

“The virologists I spoke to recommend that we avoid large crowds wherever possible. We therefore have to think very carefully about what we can do without,” said NRW Health Minister, Karl-Josef Laumann. “We should initially cancel large trade fairs, congresses, concerts or sporting events.” Laumann added that this decree will remain in force “until further notice.”

Koelnmesse issued its most recent update regarding coronavirus and potential impact upon The Tire Cologne on 3 March. The show organiser confirmed that while preparations for the trade fair were “continuing as planned,” going forward it would “evaluate the recommendations of the responsible authorities regarding major events”. After “careful consideration” of any given recommendation, it may decide upon further measures.

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