The French government has ordered a nationwide ban on gatherings of 5,000 people or more following an increase in domestic cases of coronavirus.
According to reports, the measure was adopted during an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday (February 29), resulting in the cancellation of Sunday’s half marathon in Paris.
According to the New York Times, France’s health minister told journalists that the measures are temporary, and that “They are restrictive and paradoxically we hope they don’t last long because that means we will have contained the virus’ spread.”
What this means for MIPTV, slated for March 30-April 2, is unclear. A spokesperson for Reed MIDEM told Realscreen over the weekend that the event is not postponed at present and that “we are currently monitoring what is a rapidly evolving situation in France.” The regularly updated practical information page on the MIPTV site has been updated as of March 2 to say the following: “MIPTV organizer Reed MIDEM continues to monitor events related to the coronavirus following new guidelines issued by the French government on February 29. The well-being of all MIPTV, MIPDoc and MIPFormats participants is our priority. We will provide additional updates in a timely manner. We thank you for your understanding.”
Previous iterations of the practical information page outlined the steps being undertaken to promote safety of participants, but that information has since been replaced with this comparatively brief statement.
As the news of the nationwide ban broke, word also emerged that the company’s global real estate conference, MIPIM, originally slated for March 10-13, would be postponed until June following several cancellations from international firms, citing coronavirus and travel concerns.
“The well-being of our clients and staff is our priority. Given the evolving context, the best course of action is to postpone MIPIM to June,” said Reed MIDEM chief executive, Paul Zilk, in a statement regarding the MIPIM postponement.
It is unclear how long the ban will be in effect.
Finding an alternate date for MIPTV could prove to be challenging, given the number of events currently on the schedule that make substantial use of the conference’s main venue, the Palais des Festivals. If it goes ahead as planned, the Cannes Film Festival will take place in late May, to be followed by the rescheduled MIPIM for June 2-5, and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, geared towards the global advertising industry, slated for June 22-26.