The weekend brought the news the meetings industry has been anticipating: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next 8 weeks.
This CDC announcement includes conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies.
“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” the CDC said in its new guidelines.
In response, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition issued the following statement: “As industry leaders who are driven by a responsibility to our clients, customers and employees, this is certainly not a directive we were hoping to see. However, it is one we intend to follow.
“We applaud the industry professionals who are managing as best they can through this difficult and unanticipated situation—including those who are going above and beyond to promote lenience, provide solutions and contribute in significant ways to their communities.”
According to a Global Business Travel Association survey, the global business travel sector is expected to take a revenue hit of about $820 billion, with China accounting for nearly half of the losses. This latest GBTA estimate is higher than its February forecast of $560 billion and will likely change again in the event of a shutdown of domestic flights in the United States, which Vice President Mike Pence described in a weekend press conference as being one of the latest measures under consideration to curb the pandemic.