With Italy imposing national restrictions in an attempt to contain the coronavirus, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been cancelled. The crucial gathering for children’s publishers had been previously rescheduled from March 30 to May 4.
“In these days we are dealing with a genuine emergency, one that involves not only our country but, unfortunately, has an international dimension,” the fair’s general manager Antonio Bruzzone said in a statement. “The need to contain the spread of the coronavirus has made it necessary to introduce strict limits on travel between countries, thus having a significant effect on all forms of business.”
In a press release, the fair indicated they were working to “recreate the atmosphere online.” Prior to the announcement, major participants had already withdrawn, including Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and Hachette Book Group, which announced that they were withdrawing earlier today.