Posidonia 2020 Canceled Due to Uncertain Course of COVID-19 Pandemic
On Monday, the organizers of the Posidonia 2020 maritime conference announced its cancellation. The biannual event was originally planned for June 2020, then postponed to October 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have reached this difficult decision following close consultation with many exhibitors and with our shipping community stakeholders, after assessing the current state of Covid-19 in countries around the world," Posidonia Exhibitions said in a statement. "The worrying increase of cases in certain jurisdictions and the inability to predict reliably where the pandemic will take us in the months ahead, compounds the uncertainty that now prevails, imposing upon us circumstances that are beyond our control."
The organization said that waiting longer might mean that they would be forced to cancel at short notice, which would impose greater costs on participants. Exhibitors would need to invest now in order to be ready for an October date, and that timeline can no longer be guaranteed.
Ever-evolving travel restrictions also played a factor in the decision. The European Council has advised member states to reopen borders to travelers from 13 non-EU nations, including Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and China, but visitors from other locales - notably the United States - are not generally permitted. (The Council's guidelines are not binding, and at least one EU member state has implemented different rules). As daily case counts and positivity rates are on the rise in the U.S., the timeline for lifting EU restrictions on American travelers is uncertain.
Posidonia also cited the possibility that COVID-19 precautions might restrict the social events and interpersonal contact that are at the core of the conference, which could impact the results for stakeholders.
"We considered postponing the event to March or April 2021, as some of you have suggested, but decided against it. We feel that putting our exhibitors ‘on hold’ once again would not be viable or fair, given that there is no certainty on where we would be around next December or January when decisions for a spring 2021 event would again have to be taken," the organizers wrote. "Instead, we are embarking on our preparations for the next Posidonia in June 2022 with optimism and the confidence that well before then we will have entered a world with Covid-19 under control."