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President Trump has recommended all Americans avoid gathering in groups of more than ten, following advice from the CDC that events be called off for the next eight weeks
By Anna Grace on 17 Mar 2020
US President Donald Trump has recommended that people avoid gathering in groups of more than ten for the next 15 days, following Sunday’s advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all events of more than 50 people be called off for the next eight weeks.
Trump released the new guidelines yesterday (16 March), which in addition to avoiding groups of ten plus, included closing bars, restaurants, clubs and schools.
“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” said Trump, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together.”
The president’s announcement follows advice from the national health protection agency, CDC, that all large events including “conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies” be cancelled or postponed for the next two months, “in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus”.
All music venues, bars and restaurants have shut down in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington.
The disease has led to the cancellation or rescheduling of major festivals including Coachella and South by Southwest and countless high-profile tours in the country over the past few weeks.
More than 3,500 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the US, with the virus causing at least 57 deaths so far.
President Donald Trump has issued guidelines stipulating that people avoid gathering in groups of ten plus for the next 15 days
Over the border in Canada, the government has also advised the cancellation of all large events, as parliament remains suspended until 20 April.
On Sunday, organisers announced the postponement of industry conference and festival Canadian Music Week, which was set to take place from 19 to 23 May at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. The event is now scheduled for 8 to 13 September.
“Due to the continuing spread of the novel COVID-19 virus we believe it is our social responsibility to postpone the upcoming Canadian Music Week 2020 Conference and Expo,” says CMW president Neill Dixon in a media statement.
“In light of the recent growing number of event cancellations, Public Health Canada statements, and various provincial gathering bans, we concluded this was the right decision. The health and safety of our speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, visitors, and staff is our number one priority.”
Acts including Pearl Jam, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Matthew Good, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Good Brothers have all called off upcoming shows in the country.
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) has sent a letter to politicians calling for “fiscal intervention during this unparalleled time of crisis and disruption”, including a compensation fund for concert and festival producers, assistance for self-employed workers and tax relief for those working in the live music industry.
Photo: Daniel Mayer/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)
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