I scream, you scream — we all scream for ice cream, and especially when there’s none to be had: Ben & Jerry’s has postponed its annual Free Cone Day amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
On Tuesday, the ice cream brand announced that its 41-year-old tradition would be delayed for the time being “to stand in solidarity” with fans and shops who can’t participate because of the COVID-19 crisis.
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Historically, Free Cone Day has been celebrated on the second Tuesday in April, the Burlington Free Press reports. The tradition began in 1979, when Ben & Jerry’s offered free scoops of ice cream to celebrate their one-year anniversary in Burlington, Vt., in a much-loved ritual that has continued ever since.
“This year, some of our scoop shops in communities around the world will be unable to take part in Free Cone Day due to precautions put in place by local governments around large public gatherings, considering the increasing presence of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.
“So, to stand in solidarity with ice cream lovers everywhere, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Free Cone Day this year. We hope to reschedule our global Free Cone Day event for later in the year, when we know more,” the announcement continued.
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Ben & Jerry’s also emphasized that Free Cone Day was the brand’s “favorite” day of the year and that shops remain open as normal for business.
Meanwhile, many Twitter users voiced sadness in response to the scoop.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization officially declared that the novel coronavirus outbreak is a global “pandemic.”
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There are now more than 118,000 cases of COVID-19 in 114 countries, with 4,291 recorded deaths, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.