The U.S. Treasury said on Thursday it will host the next meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors by video conference amid coronavirus travel restrictions, cancelling a physical gathering that had been planned for Philadelphia next month.
The meeting joins a growing list of other large-scale conferences that have shifted to an online format as the coronavirus spreads in the United States.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday banned most foreign nationals from three of the G7 industrial democracies – France, Germany and Italy – from entering the United States for the next month as part of sweeping restrictions on travel from Europe.
The State Department on Wednesday announced it was converting its March 24-25 G7 foreign ministers meeting in Pittsburgh to a video conference format.
Treasury had not announced firm dates for the Philadelphia G7 finance meeting, which was expected to bring hundreds of government officials, journalists, and private sector executives to the city from Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States.
The group of finance ministers and central bank governors has kept in close contact as the health and economic crisis posed by the disease, known as COVID-19, develops. They issued a statement last week pledging to use “all appropriate policy tools” to support economic growth.
The G7 finance meeting was expected to occur shortly before the April 17-19 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington – gatherings which also have been converted to an online format due to the coronavirus.