Coronavirus: April VisitScotland Expo in Aberdeen cancelled

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P&J Live
Image caption,
The event was due to be held at P&J Live

A major international tourism event in Aberdeen next month has been cancelled due to coronavirus.

VisitScotland said a "significant number of cancellations" had led to its Expo - due to take place on 1 and 2 April at P&J Live - being called off.

More than 2,000 people had been expected to attend from about 30 countries.

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: "This decision was not taken lightly."

Coronavirus in Scotland. .  .

He added: "Expo was on course to be a great success at a brand new and exciting venue, so we are disappointed for all the buyers, exhibitors and staff.

"We have been monitoring the situation for some time but it is clear that we are already seeing significant cancellations from key countries, as well as concerned inquiries about the event and hesitancy from attendees to travel.

"With the number of cases of coronavirus increasing across the world, we did not want to contribute to its potential spread across Scotland and beyond.

"We will make an announcement regarding next year's Expo in the near future."

There are 36 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Scotland, according to Scottish government figures.

The UK government is expected to announce later that it is stepping up its response to the spread of the coronavirus.

It is anticipated the UK will switch to tactics aimed at delaying its spread, rather than containing it, when the government's emergency committee meets.

There are now 460 confirmed cases in the UK and eight people have died.