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CES to require COVID-19 tests for early arrivals from China

Updated December 29, 2022 - 4:01 pm

Organizers of the four-day CES trade show will require an additional layer of COVID-19 testing for some of the more than 100,000 attendees expected at the event next week.

The Consumer Technology Association on Thursday announced it will require a negative COVID test for attendees arriving from China, Hong Kong or Macao between Jan. 1-4.

The requirement is an additional safeguard for show exhibitors and attendees prior to the start of the show. CES runs from Jan. 5-8 at several Las Vegas convention venues, but there are numerous preshow events leading up to its opening day.

The association on Thursday said it expects one-third fewer Chinese delegates at CES than in pre-pandemic years, but did not share how many people from the region are expected to arrive.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that as of Jan. 5, travelers to the U.S. from China, Hong Kong and Macao will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test to their airline before boarding,” a representative of the association said in an emailed statement.

“Given this announcement, CES will also require exhibitors and attendees traveling from China, Macao or Hong Kong and arriving in the U.S. on Jan. 1-4 to provide at CES badge pick-up a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the last 48 hours.”

The association indicated it would provide free COVID-19 antigen tests at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall.

“In addition, we encourage all participants to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu before arriving at CES. Onsite, rapid test kits will be available, and we encourage masking. CES 2023 will also be a more touchless experience. We want CES 2023 to be a welcoming environment for all of our attendees,” the association’s statement said.

The Chinese central government recently relaxed its strict zero-COVID policy, but that has left some health experts feeling concerned as reports that COVID-19 is still spreading within the country.

The U.S. government indicated that it would accept arrivals from China beginning Jan. 5, if travelers carry travel documents and stamped passports.

The CTA issued the below guidelines for clarity:

— For persons arriving from China, Hong Kong and Macao prior to Dec. 31, no testing is required. Attendees can proceed to the Convention Center’s South Hall or the Customer Service Center at The Venetian Expo with proof of arrival to obtain a CES badge. Proof of arrival includes travel documents, stamped passports and hotel receipts that include the person’s full name.

— For persons arriving from China, Hong Kong or Macao from Jan. 1-4, testing is required. Testing options accepted by CES include PCR and antigen tests from a U.S. or Canadian testing provider, if the test was administered within 48 hours of badge pickup with documentation including a person’s full name and the date the test was administered.

— Free rapid antigen testing, administered by a health professional, is available at the Convention Center’s South Hall beginning at 7 a.m. on Jan. 2; or paid PCR and antigen tests from a testing location in Las Vegas, including at Harry Reid International Airport. Documentation must include full name and the date the test was administered and test results may be presented at the badge pickup counter at the South Hall or the Customer Service Center at The Venetian Expo.

— For persons arriving on or after Jan. 5, no testing is required and attendees can proceed to the Convention Center’s South Hall or the Customer Service Center at The Venetian Expo with proof of arrival date to obtain a badge. Proof of arrival includes travel documents and stamped passports.

CTA has a website for inquiries on testing protocols at https://www.ces.tech/logistics/in-person/health-protocols.aspx.

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

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