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Switzerland imposes ban on events over 1,000-cap.

Shows by Stormzy, Santana and Halsey have been affected by the Swiss government’s ban on large events, in the latest bid to stem the spread of coronavirus

By Anna Grace on 28 Feb 2020

Switzerland imposes ban on events over 1,000-cap.

Zurich's Hallenstadion

The Swiss government this morning (28 February) placed a ban on events of more than 1,000 people, becoming the latest European country to implement widespread measures against the spread of coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases in Switzerland has risen to 15, with the first diagnosis being made on Tuesday. More than 100 people are currently in quarantine in the country. The ban follows similar measures imposed in Italy, which has suffered the worst outbreak of the virus in Europe.

“Large-scale events involving more than 1,000 people are to be banned. The ban comes into immediate effect and will apply at least until 15 March,” reads the Swiss government statement.

“The Federal Council is aware that this measure will have a significant impact on public life in Switzerland. However, the move […] should prevent or delay the spread of the disease in Switzerland, thus reducing its momentum.”

Events consisting of fewer than 1,000 people are still allowed to go ahead, provided event organisers undertake a risk assessment first.

The ban has led to the cancellation of events including Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and shows by Santana, Alice Cooper and Peter Maffay at the 15,000-cap. Hallenstadion in Zürich.

“Large-scale events involving more than 1,000 people are to be banned”

“Unfortunately, we have to inform you that all concerts have been cancelled until 15 March 15,” reads a post on the venue’s Facebook page. “Tickets will remain valid for any postponement date. The promoter will decide on a final cancellation and on the ticket refund policy.”

A post on the website for the Swiss city’s 5,000-cap. Samsung Hall, where Halsey and Avril Lavigne are scheduled to play before 15 March, reads: “At the moment we do not have any information on how to proceed. Please be patient until we can announce further information here.”

Event space X-TRA, where Stormzy is set to perform on 5 March, states it is “evaluating the impact of all planned events” in response to the government’s decision.

Halle 622 (1,600-cap.), which is hosting acts including Sam Fender and Fat Freddy’s Drop, also advises fans it is “in close contact with the Federal Office of Public Health”. The status of events will be updated on the venue’s website.

Coronavirus has led to the cancellation of many high-profile shows and tours around the world. K-pop stars BTS today cancelled four upcoming dates at Seoul Olympic Stadium (69,950-capacity), as part of their Map of the Soul world tour, with management company Big Hit Entertainment saying it is “impossible to predict the scale of the outbreak” for when the concerts are scheduled to take place in April.

“While we hope that the situation will improve, we must take into consideration the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of guests as well as our artists and the dire impact a last-minute cancellation may have on guests from overseas, production companies and staff,” continues the statement.


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