Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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LBF to go ahead as publishers pull UK staff from fair

Penguin Random House (PRH), Pan Macmillan and Hachette Livre, as well as Curtis Brown parent company Original Talent, have withdrawn all staff—including UK employees—from the London Book Fair (LBF) due to concerns about coronavirus, reports the Bookseller.

A PRH UK spokesperson told the Bookseller that, ‘given the fast-moving situation around the coronavirus, Penguin Random House has come to the difficult decision to withdraw from the fair in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our employees, authors, and partners’.

LBF director Jacks Thomas confirmed that the event will take place as scheduled from 10–12 March, after the UK government indicated it won’t recommend cancelling large events unless Public Health England advises it.

‘We respect travel bans, and people’s personal position of not wanting to come over and potentially be quarantined, but at the moment there are also 34 international pavilions who are planning on being here,’ said Thomas. ‘These are unprecedented, uncharted waters. It’s a very fluid situation and you are trying to balance absolutely everything. As a book fair organiser there are many, many constituencies.’

 

Category: International news