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CES operators ask show attendees to test for COVID before arrival

Updated January 4, 2022 - 5:28 pm

The Consumer Technology Association is asking persons attending the CES trade show that opens Wednesday to test themselves for COVID-19 before arriving at show venues.

The self-testing request is among several health and safety precautions that were instituted by the association prior to the opening of the event and that were communicated to attendees prior to the beginning of the three-day show.

The precautionary measures are part of the association’s plan to keep all who attend safe as COVID-19’s omicron variant spreads worldwide.

In addition to the self-testing request, attendees will be required to prove COVID-19 vaccination for admission, and all attending will be required to wear masks in exhibit booths and show facilities, in keynote halls and on all CES shuttle buses.

Monitors will work to enforce mask mandates on the show floor.

The association is asking show attendees to take Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Self Tests that are being provided free to attendees at badge pickup locations.

“If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms while at a CES venue, please immediately visit a first aid area in the venue in which you are located to obtain a rapid molecular Nucleic Acid Amplification Test,” attendees are told, according to a CTA spokesperson. “You will be asked to remain in an isolated observation area and will receive test results within 25 minutes. If you test positive with a molecular test while in a CES venue, we will provide a service to drive you to your hotel. Per CDC guidelines, there is a 10-day isolation period, so you will not be able to return to CES and we will ask for your badges. Once you return to your hotel, the quarantine policy of the hotel takes effect. Each Las Vegas hotel has its own policy and we encourage attendees to check their hotel’s website for their policies if they require additional information.”

Many companies, including Microsoft Corp., Google, General Motors Co., Waymo, Lenovo Group, AT&T Inc.,T-Mobile, Amazon, Twitter Inc., BMW, Advanced Micro Devices, Micro-Star International Co., Procter & GambleCo., and Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook, have opted out of the in-person show because of the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

On Monday, internet connected-fitness provider Peloton, which already had decided not to exhibit products on the show floor, announced that it no longer plans to attend the invitation-only Leaders in Technology dinner at CES.

The CTA has come under fire in the past two weeks by critics in blog posts for not canceling CES because of the recent spread of the virus. Association executives have responded that the numerous protocols in place will provide the safety necessary to conduct the show.

Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro has said there’s great value in experiencing new technology and innovation in person, which is why the association is going ahead with the Las Vegas show.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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