MIAMI (AP) – The high-brow Art Basel fair, known for glamorous celebrity parties and sightings, announced the cancellation of this year’s Miami event amid the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday.
December’s prestigious art fair attracts collectors, socialites and celebrities from all over the world. But the impact of the pandemic on international travel restrictions and other quarantine factors left little choice but to postpone the annual event until 2021, according to a statement from the organization.
“We know how crucial our show is to our galleries, as well as to the greater Miami arts community and economy… and look forward to returning to Miami Beach next year to put on a successful show,” said Noah Horowitz, Director of Americas for Art Basel.
At the same time, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new $ 13 million ad campaign on Wednesday to encourage Floridians to take vacation in the state.
The video ad encourages people to take advantage of the state’s golf courses, beaches, fishing, and other outdoor activities. He made the announcement in Daytona Beach with Visit Florida CEO and President Dana Young. DeSantis said it is safe to visit theme parks and other Florida destinations.
‘I think there is a lot of demand to do some things. I think it’s a difficult time for so many people in our country, ”said DeSantis.
DeSantis noted that he had never ordered the shutting down of state beaches during what he called “ hysteria in the sky ” in the early days of the pandemic, and that helped Daytona Beach weather the economic crisis better than others areas.
“People said, ‘You have to do that, that’s so important.’ I didn’t, I was of course criticized for it, but it was the right decision, ”said DeSantis.
DeSantis also said he wants to increase the capacity of restaurants and reopen bars.
“My sense of some of these rigid capacity requirements is probably not necessary at this point because I think people understand how to distance themselves, how to do different things,” said DeSantis.
Art Basel officials said they are committed to supporting the global art community during such momentous challenges and launching digital initiatives alongside the 2021 shows in Hong Kong, Basel, Switzerland and Miami.
In December, the fair plans to unveil “Online Viewing Rooms” which will be open to the galleries admitted to this year’s Miami fair.
Florida reported 130 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total to 11,651. The average number of deaths reported daily has been on a downward trend for about two weeks, and the latest update brings the state’s seven-day average of deaths reported daily to 111 – the lowest rate since late July.
The state reported 2,575 new cases of people testing positive for COVID-19, with a test positivity rate of 7.7%. That compares the peaks of between 10,000 and 15,000 new cases per day in early to mid-July.
The number of people being treated for the disease in Florida has been declining since a peak on July 23, when hospitals reported more than 9,500 patients. Late Wednesday morning, there were 3,532 COVID-19 patients, according to the state’s online hospital count.
While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be fatal for elderly patients and those with other health conditions.
Farrington reported from Tallahassee. Associated Press writer Curt Anderson in St. Petersburg contributed to this story.
Follow the AP reporting on the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.