The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) yesterday, 23 March 2020 announced the suspension of preparations for its upcoming trade shows following the goverment's announcement of a quarantine for all travellers arriving from outside China. It cannot host an international show under these conditions.
In a statement, the HKTDC wrote that due to the rapid development of the global COVID-19 outbreak, the Hong Kong SAR Government has introduced a compulsory quarantine for those arriving in Hong Kong from foreign places. Starting from 19 March 2020, all travellers arriving from outside China must be quarantined upon arrival in Hong Kong for 14 days. The regulation will be in effect for three months until 18 June.
"The new regulation means that overseas exhibitors and buyers planning to attend the HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2020 and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2020, which are currently scheduled to run concurrently from 18 to 21 May, will have great difficulty joining the fairs," they write. "In light of the changing situation, we have decided to suspend the preparation work for the twin fairs. At the same time, we are consulting with the industry to come up with other viable solutions. Details of any new arrangements will be announced in due course."
They said that approximately 2,000 exhibitors had committed to renting booths for the May shows before the HKTDC halted processing the outstanding applications for the May shows, adding that they would "continue helping companies capture business opportunities through multiple channels."