Cannes Lions 'firmly open for business' amid coronavirus epidemic

Organisers of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity say the event in France in June "remains firmly open for business" despite the threat of coronavirus.

It follows last week's high-profile cancellation of Mobile World Congress, which was due to be held in Barcelona later this month, over coronavirus concerns.

Recent days have seen the cancellation of other major events featuring attendees from across the world, with organisers citing the virus. These include the Chinese Grand Prix; LME Asia Week, the annual metal industry gathering in Hong Kong; and the rugby union sevens tournaments in Singapore and Hong Kong.

On Friday, Facebook cancelled its global marketing summit, due to take place in San Francisco in March. Music star Stormzy has also postponed the Asian leg of his tour.

This weekend an 80-year-old Chinese tourist became the first person to die as a result of coronavirus in Europe while on holiday in Paris. He had been in hospital in the French capital for three weeks.

A spokesperson for Cannes Lions said: "Cannes Lions remains firmly open for business, taking place on 22 to 26 June in Cannes, France. We continue to closely monitor the development of the COVID-19/coronavirus and any potential impact on our event, following regular guidance from the venue, the World Health Organisation and the French authorities."

The festival attracts thousands of delegates globally, including many comms professionals.

At the time of writing, more than 64,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across 29 countries, leading to more than 1,300 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

The virus originated in Wuhan, China. The vast majority of people who have caught it live in the country.

Nine people in the UK have tested positive to coronavirus to date.

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