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Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Seeks Approval to Go On As Scheduled

Fort Lauderdale boat show seeks green light to go on as scheduled

Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases throughout Florida, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show intends to move ahead with plans for its annual five-day exhibition that typically draws more than 100,000 visitors.

If the show were to proceed, it would break with the major South Florida events that have canceled, including the Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale, the Tortuga Music Festival and Art Basel Miami Beach.

According to the event’s website, ticket sales were supposed to start on Monday. However, the notice had disappeared from the site on Thursday.

Officials of the U.S. boat show met privately with Broward County officials to discuss public health concerns surrounding the proposed event.

A show spokeswoman said she had no information about the discussions or the show’s timing. A county spokeswoman did not respond to an email message Friday asking whether the show would proceed. A spokesman for the city of Fort Lauderdale said the decision is ultimately up to Broward County.

In mid-July, the website said the show had adopted health and safety standards that adhere to the guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those standards include:

  • Mandatory face masks for all attendees and staff members.

  • Temperature screening upon entry to the event.

  • Deep cleanings before, during and after each day’s events.

  • Overnight disinfections.

  • Continuous sanitation of commonly used surfaces and objects, with a focus on door handles, restrooms and food and beverage areas.

  • Floor markers at exhibition booths for social distancing.

  • Encouragement to use contactless payment systems and refrain from using interactive exhibits.

  • Social-distancing measures in cafes, concession areas, and VIP lounges.

Should the in-person aspects of the event be cancelled or postponed, the show could go virtual.

Notably, the Palm Beach International Boat Show hosted its first ever virtual event in May.

According to Informa, the Palm Beach International Boat Show “gathered nearly 450 marine exhibitors and showcased more than $1.2 billion worth of yachts and accessories, including more than 800 boats and 150 superyachts.”

The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is scheduled to start on October 28th and end on November 1st at multiple locations throughout Fort Lauderdale.

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