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Given the rapid spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in France and worldwide, it is with great regret but with regard for the wider health issues that the management board of Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne wine promotion event has decided to suspend the forthcoming edition. The event was scheduled to run from 9 to 13 March, from Chablis to Mercurey, bringing together some 2,500 visitors and 1,050 wine producers and négociants.
In the past week, the Covid-19 epidemic, which is now affecting more than 50 countries, has become a pandemic and is spreading fast. The latest developments means the organizers of Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne and the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), after discussion with the relevant authorities, have taken the informed and responsible decision to suspend the event.
Registration closed at 6pm on Friday, and showed that nearly 2,500 people had planned to participate in Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne, hailing from more than 50 countries, including some at-risk zones (notably China and Italy, but also from across France). Bringing together so many nationalities in enclosed spaces is not acceptable at “stage 2” of a public health alert, and would have been irresponsible.
“We cannot today guarantee favorable health and safety conditions for our visitors and exhibitors,” explained Raphaël Dubois, President of the Association of Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne. “It is a decision we take with a heavy heart, because we realize the consequences it may have for the wine region and the various organizers of the many facets if this event, official or otherwise. Taking account of the crowded industry calendar, we are going to look into the best options for rescheduling. We will inform you as soon as any decision has been taken.”
Other major events set a precedent this weekend, notably ProWein which was cancelled on Saturday.