Coronavirus already shut down events like SXSW, World Cup Qualifiers, and schools across the world. The latest casualty of the pandemic is Tales of the Cocktail’s Tales on Tour Puerto Rico 2020. The annual satellite event will be 86’d due to public safety concerns linked to the virus.
The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation notified participants and sponsors over the last 24 hours via email. Subsequently, Tales issued a statement.
“It is with a heavy heart that we cannot return to San Juan this year, but the safety and well being of our host communities is our top priority,” said TOTC President Caroline Rosen in a statement. “We feel incredibly grateful to have an international platform that will enable us to shine a light on Puerto Rico during our New Orleans conference. We are hard at work with all of our partners to ensure it’s a safe and beautiful festival. In the meantime, please continue to patronize the bars and restaurants in your community that rely so heavily on our support at this time.”
The organization will give ticket holders the option of either a full refund or a donation to a Puerto Rico based service project. Elements of the planned convention, such as CAPs and presentations, will be shifted to the main Tales this summer.
The communique noted that last year, the conference drew attendees from over 20 nations. Given the global nature of the COVID-19 emergency, organizers chose not to “put the island and locals at significant, undue risk.” The note stressed that the group holds the safety of patrons and hosts as a top priority.
Tales on Tour was scheduled to run from April 19-22. The event was also held in San Juan last year and was well received. In addition to the normal selection of speakers, the symposium also included a day of service singled out by many guests as a highlight.
The first cases of COVID-19 or Coronavirus were reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, the illness spread to at least 115 countries, infected over 100,000 people, and caused over 4200 deaths. As the COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread, governments are turning to severe measures like quarantines and event organizers are cancelling most large gatherings.
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