Trinity Provost Patrick Prendergast hinted that Trinity Ball could be cancelled due to coronavirus fears, in an interview yesterday on RTE Radio 1.
Although the Provost admitted that “a decision hasn’t been made on that yet”, he stated that it was “obvious that the congregation of large groups is not a good thing and we have to take very seriously the potential for the spread of the virus”. He cited the cancellation of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade as an example of large scale event cancellation taken in the interest of population safety, saying that the decision on whether or not to cancel Trinity Ball would be taken “in the context” of the decision to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The interview, which took place yesterday at 1:00pm, saw the Provost explain the college’s decision to move classes online, as well as acknowledge the other measures that were being taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus. So far the Book of Kells and the Science Gallery have closed to tourists, and many departments (including Classics, History, Sociology) have decided to cease all in person tutorials and seminars on top of the college wide decision to move lectures online.
Only one known Coronavirus case has been discovered in Trinity so far. The first case of coronavirus within Trinity was confirmed last Thursday. The fourth floor and lifts of the Trinity Biomedical Science Institute (TBSI) were closed as a precaution. Hand sanitisers have been provided across campus and in off-campus locations in a bid to prevent a possible spread of infection.
Trinity Ball is known to be Europe’s largest private party, with over 7000 tickets were sold in last year’s event. London rapper Tinie Tempah is currently set to headline the event on April 17th, alongside Rejjie Snow and Eats Everything.
Currently, the HSE has recommended that “people who are unwell should not attend mass gathering events” but has not recommended the cancellation of all such events, with recommendations “subject to change” depending on the development of the coronavirus.
Trinity has made hand sanitiser available throughout campus and recommends regular hand washing to avoid infection. Students who do not feel well or who are returning from high-risk areas should self-quarantine for 14 days.