MWC organisers to go ahead with in-person event despite Covid-19 fears

    MWC 2021 in Barcelona this year will see a scaled back capacity along with the Covid-19 safety protocols. 
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Feb 18 2021, 11:47 IST
    Organisers had called off MWC 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic
    Organisers had called off MWC 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic (AP)
    Organisers had called off MWC 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic
    Organisers had called off MWC 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic (AP)

    Organisers of Mobile World Congress (MWC) are going ahead with an in-person event this year. MWC is one of the biggest annual technology conferences. In 2020, the conference was cancelled amidst the Covid-19 fears. Even though the pandemic is far from over, organisers are betting on safety protocols such as social distancing and mandatory masks.

    John Hoffman, CEO of GSM Association (the organisers of MWC), said that they were expecting about 50,000 people at the conference this year. The event usually is attended by more than 100,000 people.

    According to Hoffman, MWC attendees will require to show a negative Covid-19 test report (within 72 hours). Attendees can also get the Covid-19 test at the event. Hoffman also promised to deliver a “touchless environment”, starting from registration to other processes.

    “Our view is it would be great if the world was vaccinated, but we can't rely on that in 2021 so instead we're relying on testing upfront to ensure our bubble isn't just the Fira Gran Via but the whole of Barcelona,” Hoffman told Mobile World Live.

    Hoffman also talked about the conference that will take place in China next week. He noted that China has succeeded in making the country a “bubble” to keep the pandemic at bay. The China MWC will also see a scaled-back capacity. According to Hoffman, organisers are expecting 20,000 people, much lower than 60,000 in 2019.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has continued to disrupt normalcy. Even as some markets have opened and in-person events are gradually taking place, there are fears of Covid-19 superspreader events. We already have seen multiple waves of the pandemic hitting European countries. The silver lining is that some countries have begun vaccinating their citizens. Though, it may take more months or years to get the entire world vaccinated. Different strains of the coronavirus have also caused concerns.

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    First Published Date: 18 Feb, 11:47 IST
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