CES 2022 ends a day early amid the COVID-19 wave

After several companies completely canceled plans for CES next week, the organization that runs the show announced today that the event will close a day early. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said CES 2022 will now take place Jan. 5-7 “as an additional safety measure in addition to the current health protocols that have been put in place.” January 3 and 4 are media-only days when press conferences and keynotes take place.

Protocols include masks and a vaccination certificate to attend personal events. The CTA also recently announced that it would provide Abbott BinaxNOW with COVID-19 testing upon badge collection. The association has asked attendees to complete a quick test 24 hours before entering a CES venue. If someone experiences symptoms while in a CES location, the CTA has advised them to report to a first aid station for testing. The organization says it will also offer PCR testing for all attendees who must have one at their destination before departing Las Vegas.

In the past week, leading exhibitors such as Amazon, Google, Intel, Lenovo, Meta, and more have canceled plans for CES 2022. As part of today’s announcement, the CTA explained that more than 2,200 companies will still be showing off their goods on the ground in Vegas, noting that it has added 143 more in the past two weeks.

CTA CEO Gary Shapiro has defended the decision to hold the show in person as the omicron variant is causing the number of COVID-19 cases to rise in different parts of the world. “As the world’s most influential technology event, CES is steadfast in its promise to be the meeting place to showcase products and discuss ideas that will ultimately make our lives better,” said Shapiro. “We are shortening the show to three days and have put in place extensive health measures for the safety of all attendees and participants.” Shapiro has pointed to the smaller businesses that rely on the event as a potential product springboard as a key reason for not canceling the event. CES 2021 was completely virtual.

“We will all take risks,” he said in a recent op-ed for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “But without risk there is no innovation.”

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