Amelia Holowaty Krales
CES has dropped the last day of its 2022 tech conference in Las Vegas, and the show will now end on January 7th, the Consumer Technology Association announced today. The shorter schedule is “an additional safety measure” in the face of a surge of COVID-19 diagnoses.
Over the last two weeks, a number of large companies — including BMW, Intel, AMD, GM, Google, T-Mobile, Amazon, Microsoft and the company formerly known as Facebook — have dropped their physical presences at the conference. It’s the largest tech conference in the world, which typically pulls more than 10,000 people in each year.
Yesterday the US set a grim new record in COVID: the highest number of infections reported daily — breaking a record set the day before. Las Vegas is located in Clark County, Nevada, where 11 percent of COVID tests are returning positive results. Nevada’s COVID tracker flags Clark County as an area of elevated disease transmission.
More than 2,200 exhibitors are confirmed-in person for CES, the CTA said in its emailed statement. As exhibitors have curtailed their trips to Las Vegas, the CTA’s president and CEO, Gary Shapiro, has said the show “will and must go on.” In today’s announcement, the CTA said that 143 companies have signed up for in-person exhibits in the last two weeks.
Attendees will have to show proof of vaccination to get their badges. The CTA has also requested that they test for COVID-19 less than 24 hours before entering the conference, and will be giving away free rapid tests to help with that. Masks will be required for the show, and international travelers will get a free PCR test after the show ends.