“We have followed the situation each day and have listened closely to the information and advice coming from local authorities,” UITP secretary general, Mr Mohamed Mezghani and Ms Britta Wirtz, managing director of Messe Karlsruhe, said in a statement. “The safety and wellbeing of all exhibitors, delegates and visitors is always our top priority, therefore we believe this is the correct decision for all involved and we appreciate your understanding and support.”

IT-Trans, which the organisers say is the largest event of its kind dedicated to digitalisation in public transport, was due to be held on March 3-5. UITP and Messe Karlsruhe said that several exhibitors, important speakers and supporting associations had withdrawn from the event this week as several EU-based businesses imposed business travel restrictions on their employees.

“In light of these extreme circumstances, we have concluded today that we can no longer ensure the safe and serene environment expected by our stakeholders, and have therefore decided with regret but determination to postpone the event,” the statement said.

The organisers did not confirm a new date for the event but said that more information will be provided in the coming days.