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Reed Exhibitions officially cancels London Book Fair over COVID-19 concerns

Reed Exhibitions has announced that the London Book Fair, scheduled to take place March 10–12, has been cancelled. In a statement, Reed says the cancellation comes “following the escalation of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Europe.”

The move comes after a number of publishers already announced that they would not travel to London for the fair. On Feb. 28, Simon & Schuster Canada announced that it would not be attending the fair due to concerns about the coronavirus. On the same day, Publishers Weekly reported that Simon & Schuster U.S., Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, and HarperCollins had all decided to forego the fair this year. PW also indicated that Ingram and OverDrive were not going to be in attendance.

And according to the British trade publication The Bookseller, in the U.K., Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre, Pan Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster had already pulled out, as had the literary agency Curtis Brown.

“We have been following U.K. government guidelines and working with the rolling advice from the public health authorities and other organizations, and so it is with reluctance that we have taken the decision not to go ahead with this year’s event,” Reed says in its statement. “We recognise that business has to continue. With this in mind, we will of course support and collaborate with exhibitors and visitors to keep our world moving during this difficult period. We thank all those from the U.K. and a multitude of other countries who have prepared over the last year to deliver what promised to be a wonderful book fair showcasing, as ever, the exciting best of the global book industry. The London Book Fair will return, better than ever, in 2021.”