Wuhan coronavirus: Singapore Airshow organiser 'undoubtedly' expects fewer exhibitors, visitors

Wuhan coronavirus: Singapore Airshow organiser 'undoubtedly' expects fewer exhibitors, visitors

Airshow 2018 (1)
Crowds swarming the static display area at the Singapore Airshow 2018. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: This year's Singapore Airshow is expected to see fewer exhibitors and visitors as the country implements more stringent measures to contain the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, its organiser said.

In response to queries by CNA, Experia Events said the event will continue as planned from Feb 11 to 16 with the additional measures implemented.

"While we continue to monitor the situation closely, the current expanded measures will undoubtedly see a reduction in terms of the number of expected exhibitors and visitors this year," it said on Friday (Jan 31) evening.

"During this period, we are working to ensure the relevant parties receive the requisite support and assurance, and remain ready and prepared to implement further enhanced measures as required by the authorities."

READ: Wuhan coronavirus: Singapore to widen travel restrictions to all new visitors who recently travelled to mainland China

This comes after the Government announced on Friday that new visitors of any nationality with recent travel history to mainland China will not be allowed entry or transit in Singapore.

Previously, only those with recent travel history to Hubei province were subjected to these restrictions.

In addition, those with Chinese passports, with the exception of Singapore permanent residents and long-term pass holders, will not be allowed to enter Singapore. 

Authorities will also stop issuing all forms of new visas and suspend previously issued short-term and multiple-visit visas for those with Chinese passports. Those who hold such visas will not be allowed into Singapore.

READ: Singaporean evacuated from Wuhan among country's 3 new cases of coronavirus, total now 16: MOH

The multi-ministry task force tackling the outbreak said these measures will help prevent community spread in Singapore, hours before the Ministry of Health announced the country's three latest confirmed cases of the virus.

Sixteen people in Singapore now have the Wuhan coronavirus, including a 47-year-old Singaporean who had travelled to Wuhan with her family and was one of the 92 Singaporeans who were evacuated from the city on Thursday.

"In line with the Ministry of Health announcement ... Experia Events will inform our exhibitors and visitors of the expanded measures," it said.

"As the well-being of visitors to the Singapore Airshow 2020 is our utmost priority, we urge visitors who feel unwell to seek medical attention promptly and not to attend the event for the welfare of all other visitors."

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The organiser had earlier said in an advisory that it will improve housekeeping and refuse management protocols to maintain "high standards" of hygiene at the event, adding that doctors and medics will be on standby to attend to visitors who are unwell.

The biennial Singapore Airshow, billed as Asia's largest defence and aerospace exhibition, attracted 80,000 visitors over a weekend in 2018, including 54,000 trade attendees from 147 countries and regions.

Expected exhibitors at this year's event include the China Aviation Industrial Base and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. The previous edition had attracted manufacturers of commercial and military jets as well as specialists in aviation training from China.

READ: Wuhan coronavirus: Scoot to suspend all flights between Singapore and mainland China

In 2018, Experia Events said exhibitors, trade attendees, visitors and tourists spent more than S$343 million on flights, accommodation, exhibition space, entertainment, shopping and food and beverages, a four per cent increase from 2016.

The organiser said it will provide updates on implementing additional measures as required by the authorities in the lead up to this year's event.

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Source: CNA/hz(rw)

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