December 30 2021
Due to the spread of the Omicron variant, new restrictions have been in effect in Germany since December 28, including restrictions on trade fairs. Following the meeting of the ministers-presidents of the Länder on the pandemic situation on December 21, 2021, North Rhine-Westphalia has banned the holding of large events with spectators in January. This applies in particular to the Boot Düsseldorf, which, as an international leisure trade fair, will not be able to take place.
Karl-Josef Laumann, Minister of Health of North Rhine-Westphalia, explained: "We must continue to be very careful for the time being. The omicron variant is spreading in a dynamic that we do not yet know. But we have to act now. That is why we had already banned large soccer matches and sporting events with spectators in the current ordinance on protection against the coronavirus. It makes sense that there are no large public fairs with many visitors from different regions and countries around the world in January either.
The Mayor of Düsseldorf, Dr. Stephan Keller, supported the decision: "Of course, we hoped that the pandemic situation in January would allow the Boot to be held under strict hygienic conditions. However, it is only logical that we should not hold large public trade fairs such as the Boot in order to contain the spread of the Omicron variant. Even before the state ban, I agreed with the management of Messe Düsseldorf not to take any unjustifiable risks and to cancel the Boot if necessary.
This statement surprised the professionals of the nautical industry, as for the will of the organization to cancel if necessary the show, it which, since the beginning of December, was stubbornly maintaining the Boot, in a reduced format - water sports - after the withdrawal of the main world manufacturers of pleasure boats and yachts, Italian and French in the lead (read our article on the withdrawal of the French shipyards), some North American shipyards having maintained their presence, as well as some British and German.
It seems that the organization did not anticipate but rather suffered the political decision, which will only be beneficial to the image of BOOT, which if it had been maintained would have turned out to be a - gigantic - German-German show, with few boats to discover, far from what it should be.
Wolfram N. Diener, Chairman of the Management Board of Messe Düsseldorf, said: "The pandemic must be overcome as quickly as possible so that the trade fair industry can once again work with planning security for exhibitors and visitors. So it is with a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to the organization of the Boot in January 2022. However, the decision of the state government also corresponds to the wishes of many exhibitors who are very worried about their participation in the Boot during the omicron wave. I would like to ask everyone involved to show understanding and support so that we can get back to work together in 2023 with all our energy. The sincere thanks of the entire Boot Düsseldorf team go to all the exhibitors, associations and partners who have stood by us until today. I am sure that together we will move towards a successful Boot 2023, having hopefully overcome the crisis.