As a result of the spread of the new coronavirus, the Salon du Livre in Paris has been cancelled. The French government announced over the weekend they were banning gatherings of more than 5,000 people in any enclosed space for the foreseeable future. The event was to be held March 20-23, with India as the guest of honor.
Germany's primary consumer facing book fair, the Leipzig Book Fair, has also been cancelled. The event, scheduled for March 12-15 expected to attract some 300,000 people and host 2,500 exhibitors from 51 countries, including 10 authors from Canada as a preview of Canada's turn as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair this October.
In Belgium, the Foire du Livre de Bruxelles begins this Thursday and runs through Sunday. The event, which focuses on French-language publishing in the country, is expected to host several large pavilions of Paris-based publishers in addition to local vendors. The event is also holding its first agents' center, with a focus on European publishers and agents.
The impact of the coronavirus on the Foire du Livre, as well as the upcoming London Book Fair, remains to be seen. At present, organizers of both events have announced no change of plans, despite the number of American publishers and book-related businesses pulling out of London. Both fairs have suggested that attendees follow the health precautions issued by the WHO, such as not shaking hands upon meeting and washing and sanitizing one's hands frequently.