This year’s March of the Living in Poland has been cancelled to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading, the organisation said on Sunday.
Organisers said a primary concern was the health of participants, including survivors.
“Given that this is an international event involving 110 delegations from around the world, we have a responsibility to take precautionary measures in accordance with the guidelines given by authorities in various countries,” the organisation’s world chair Dr. Shmuel Rosenman said.
The six-day educational journey through Poland culminates each year in a 1.9 mile walk along the railway tracks from Auschwitz to Birkenau.
The programme launched in 1988 is attended each year by 10,000 young people from across 40 countries, who are joined by survivors and dignitaries.
The organisation is to launch a campaign inspired by the phrase “Never Means Never” encouraging young people to combat antisemitism.
“Our educational message, especially in the face of rising antisemitism, will be communicated by other means this year. Even if we are not able to be in Poland, we remain thoroughly committed to our values and our historic role,” said Dr Rosenman.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to chair on Monday an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss steps to stem the flow of the coronavirus.
A man in his 60s with underlying health problems died in hospital in Manchester after contracting the virus, Public Health England said on Sunday.
The total number of confirmed cases rose to 278 on Sunday, with over 23,500 people tested.