Google I/O 2020 canceled over, yes, coronavirus concerns

The company has also put travel restrictions into place for its employees.

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Google has canceled this year's I/O developer conference over concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak wreaking havoc across the globe. The annual event was scheduled to take place May 12-14th at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

"Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre," Google said in an email. The company will refund all registered attendees by March 13th.

Everything's canceled — The news comes following a slew of other cancellations of international events, and as companies around the world limit employee travel in order to reduce potential exposure to the virus that does not yet have a vaccine. Google today also banned its employees from all international business travel until further notice, and yesterday canceled a summit for its Google Cloud business.

It's really not necessary for these events to happen right now under the existing circumstances. Confirmed coronavirus infections have now surpassed 80,000 with more than 3,000 dead, and its spread into the United States appears to be starting up at an alarming rate. Surely any announcements Google had to make about Android can wait or — crazy idea here — be done online.

Google's email to attendees states it will, "explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community," without specifying any plans for an alternative event. Other conferences, like the Games Developer Conference, are being postponed or replaced by online keynotes.