MCEC temporarily closes, ICC Sydney halts events

Two of Australia’s leading convention centres have announced significant changes to their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has temporarily closed to the public until 13 April to align with the Victorian Government’s declared state of emergency.

The MCEC said a decision on reopening will take into consideration any developments in the COVID-19 situation.

“We have said from the outset that the health and wellbeing of our customers, people and all visitors to MCEC, is our first priority,” MCEC chief executive Peter King said.

“This has been a very difficult decision to reach and one that we haven’t arrived at lightly. Personally, I am devastated to be making it, as I know it will have an impact on our customers and our people.

“But as a business that brings people together, we have a responsibility to do what we can to help support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The MCEC’s decision to close follows direction from the Victorian government’s ban on all non-essential and static events of more than 500 people to help delay the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, in line with NSW Public Health (COVID19 Public Events) Order 2020, ICC Sydney will not be holding any public events for 500 or more people until Thursday 14 June.

“The safety and wellbeing of ICC Sydney’s clients, visitors and employees is of paramount importance and remains our top priority,” the organisation said in a statement.