Accento (Arts News)

F1 Grand Prix cancelled: COVID-19 situation “fluid” as the Australian Government meets to address mass gatherings

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is currently meeting in Sydney to discuss a national strategy to address Coronavirus concerns, particularly when it comes to sports and entertainment.

As share prices fall, businesses close, and major events are cancelled, members of the Australian entertainment sector nervously await the outcome of today’s COAG meeting.

The lights are out on Broadway and Disneyland in California and Paris have been shut down as our Northern Hemisphere counterparts in the entertainment industry take extreme precautions to manage the spread of COVID-19.

The Formula One Grand Prix was due to start today and has been officially cancelled, leaving many fans disappointed at Albert Park.

“Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the FIA convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening. Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead.”

FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation [https://www.formula1.com]

Following mass gatherings at events in Adelaide during the Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide festivals, it is unclear whether or not the Marshall Government will proceed with scheduled major events such as the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Oz-Asia.

In these uncertain times, it is important to stay informed and make calculated decisions. The situation is evolving almost on an hourly basis. Credible sources such as the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation are invaluable for the latest health alerts.

As at 11:00 hrs on 12 March 2020, we have 126 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including 3 deaths, in Australia. [https://www.health.gov.au/]

64 in New South Wales
17 in Queensland
8 in South Australia
2 in Tasmania
18 in Victoria
7 in Western Australia
10 associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship

According to the latest health advice, people who are feeling well are not dissuaded from attending live entertainment and enjoying ticketed events. The COAG is currently considering a threshold and a unified approach when it comes to mass public events.

It is likely that the arts and entertainment sector will have to overcome unprecedented challenges in the near future. Stay calm and informed, and support one another in every way that you can.

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