After confirming – and reconfirming – that the Mobile World Congress 2021 will be held, and in addition not only virtual but also in person, the GSMA, the body behind the largest mobile phone event in the world, has published the rules and guides of security that visitors must follow in the facilities of Barcelona. And the first of all is very direct: Without a negative test you cannot enter.
MWC 2021 Shanghai first
There are usually 2 MWC events per year:
Mobile World Congress Barcelona, Spain (EU)
Mobile World Congress Shanghai, China (Asia)
Traditionally, the Barcelona MWC is held before its Shanghai counterpart, although as China is “more open” than other regions, it was decided to change the calendar of the two events, with China taking place next week, from 23 to 25 February.
With extensive testing, monitoring, and entry requirements, John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Limited, noted that China has turned the country into a protected “bubble” from Covid-19 outbreaks, and that both regional and national authorities support the GSMA decision on event format.
The Shanghai MWC will be one of the first major events in the sector with an in-person element since the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Not only is it expected to offer a vision of the main problems facing the sector, but it also gives a glimpse of what Barcelona’s sister event could look like in June.
Without negative test you cannot enter
While Chinese policies on the control of Covid will lead authorities to take the lead, at the MWC in Barcelona the GSMA will assume greater responsibility for testing, increasing the logistical challenge facing the organization. “In Shanghai it is about establishing the ability to bring people together in a technology space. The success of the fair is that no one gets sick and that we can discuss, debate the importance of China in the global market.”
“Barcelona will be a little different, it is the big stage. Covid requirements will decrease our capacity. We will not have 110,000 people, with travel restrictions, capacity tests and one-way traffic through the exhibition, there is no way “.
Attendees at the MWC in Barcelona will have to submit a negative Covid-19 test result (within 72 hours), and the tests will be available on site. Hoffman also stated that the GSMA will use the technology to create a “contactless environment” from registration to all MWC events.
“Our opinion is that it would be great if everyone were vaccinated, but we cannot rely on that in 2021, so instead we are relying on tests in advance to ensure that our bubble is not just the Fira Gran Via, but the entire Barcelona.”