Industry trade shows scheduled in Düsseldorf and Shanghai have been called off as new Covid case numbers surge across Europe and in parts of north eastern China.
|The IPI has been rescheduled for November 2022
“We are very sorry to inform that due the current COVID-19 situation in many European countries, we had to cancel Industrial Print Integration (IPI) conference in 2021,” said event organisers ESMA, the European association of screen printing equipment manufacturers. “We hope to welcome you on a better, bigger and safer event in 2022. Save the date for IPI on 8-9 November 2022 in Düsseldorf-Neuss, Germany.”
The two-day IPI event featuring 50 conference presentations was due to take place on 23-24 November, 2021. IPI is an ESMA event supported by its partner drupa, with Specialist Printing Worldwide as the official journal.
Germany reported a record-high 36,676 new coronavirus cases last Wednesday as experts warned another lockdown could be needed to bring the numbers down.
The World Health Organisation said coronavirus deaths rose by 10 per cent across Europe over the past week and the continent was now "back at the epicentre of the pandemic.”
In China, organisers of global coatings show CHINACOAT and finishing show SFCHINA2021 have postponed the co-located event that was scheduled at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) for 16-18 November 2021.
“Given that there are increasing numbers of COVID-19 confirmed cases in some regions in P.R. China, the National Health Commission announced on 6th November that "Gathering Activities such as Exhibitions, Conferences/Forums should be held online instead where possible, to reduce risk of spread of epidemic caused by gatherings,” the organisers told exhibitors.
“This is a decision not easy to be made. The organizers sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to all parties.
“Now, after back and forth negotiations with the Venue Operator (SNIEC) this week, the organizers can tentatively postpone the two exhibitions to be held between the last week of February and first week of March 2022. However, please note this new show date cannot be fully confirmed yet. Since lately most exhibitions in Shanghai have been postponed or cancelled, the Venue Operator needs more time to negotiate with all parties concerned to finalize the overall revised timetable.
“When the new show date is finally confirmed, probably around end of November to early December, the Organizers will issue a revised timetable with all other related information for exhibitors to prepare for the exhibitions.”
China is facing its biggest Covid-19 outbreak caused by the Delta variant, with some areas restricting entry to people from the north-eastern city of Dalian where infections have grown faster than elsewhere in the country.
A total of 1,308 domestically transmitted infections were reported in the mainland between 17 Oct. and 14 Nov., surpassing 1,280 local cases from a summer Delta outbreak, according to Reuters calculations based on official data.
Meanwhile, The Netherlands where the FESPA print expo took place last month after international travel restrictions were relaxed, even from 'red zone' countries, a partial lockdown has returned. As reported by the BBC earlier this week:
"Police in the Netherlands have used water cannon on protesters opposed to a new partial lockdown imposed amid record coronavirus infections and rising intensive care cases.
Three weeks of restrictions for shops, sport and catering were announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday.
Much of Europe is facing a surge in cases, blamed partly on low vaccine take-up in several countries."
Australia and New Zealand's vigilance is looking justified in the face of these disturbing trends.
It's not over until it's over.