Strict anti-Covid regime heralds return to in-person events
Vaccination proof will not be required to visitors to Mobile World Congress at the end of June the GSMA has confirmed.
There will however be a strict regime of other anti-Covid measures including the requirement to have proof of a negative test at all times.
The plan was developed with and approved by the Catalan health authorities and will impact everyone involved with the event – staff, workers, exhibitors, visitors, suppliers, partners, and the local community.
Layers include frequent testing, contact tracing, touchless environments, re-vamped catering, occupancy monitoring, upgrades to facility infrastructure, increased medical staff and personal commitments like adhering to social distancing.
Everyone will have to wear a FFP2 (Filtering Facepiece Respirators) mask at all times.
There will be a ‘touchless’ environment, with ‘badgeless’ entry and other formerly manual interactions now digitised.
Restaurants have been re-designed to ensure social distancing. Fira Gran Via has increased sanitisation protocols throughout and new fresh-air injection and external ventilation systems have been installed to improve airflow. Crowd density will be monitored to ensure social distancing is adhered to.
Onsite medical facilities now have isolation rooms to facilitate assessments. More medical personnel will be onsite to conduct assessments, administer PCR or rapid tests and to coordinate where necessary with Catalan health authorities.
Visitors must complete a daily health questionnaire in the My MWC app and regularly make use 1,300 disinfectant dispensers points, wear a mask and adhere to social distancing requirements. Onsite marshals will ensure all elements are strictly followed.
GSMA CEO John Hoffman said: “We’ve worked with partners, health authorities and medical professionals to create a plan that builds confidence in our return to in-person events. Covid-19 is our biggest challenge to date.
“This foundation means MWC21 Barcelona can go ahead safely, in person, with a digital online component for those unable to attend.”
Visitors must install a special MWC app which will be a digital badge that will activate and allow for entrance to the event once registration, self-declaration and testing is completed.
Travellers from some red-list countries will have to produce a negative Covid-19 test before being allowed to board planes and travel to Barcelona.
People arriving by train or car will be directed to MWC testing centres to validate their health status, while all visitors will have to produce a valid negative rapid test to access the venue.
The test must be repeated every 72 hours, with participants notified through the My MWC app of upcoming expiration Multiple testing centres will be set up to handle the testing.
Temperature checks will also be conducted at all access points. The number of entrances and exits have doubled to maintain social distancing and support one-way traffic flow through the Venue