Samsung has become the latest company to announce it will not be traveling to the Mobile World Congress trade show, due to take place in Barcelona from June 28.
The world's largest phone show was cancelled at short notice in 2020 due to Covid-19, and while organizers are still hoping an in-person event will go ahead next month, many attendees are taking part online instead.
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Samsung would normally have had a major presence at MWC, and has previously used the event to show off new flagship smartphones and other devices. Instead the company will attend MWC remotely, as it and the entire technology industry did for the all-digital CES event in January 2021.
Samsung said: "The health and safety of our employees, partners and customers is our number one priority, so we have made the decision to withdraw from exhibiting in-person at this year's Mobile World Congress."
Described as "the world's biggest connectivity event," this year's MWC is taking a hybrid approach and giving attendees the option of connecting in-person in Barcelona, or online.
Mobile World Congress is due to take place, in person and online, from June 28iStock
Samsung joins a growing list of major companies who have chosen not to attend MWC in-person for 2021, including Lenovo, Google, Nokia, Ericsson, Sony and Oracle.
GSMA, which organizes Mobile World Congress, requires attendees to have completed a negative PCR or TMA Covid-19 test up to 72 hours before arriving in Spain. Attendees must then complete a rapid Covid-19 test before entering the Fira exhibition center, which then remains valid for 72 hours. GSMA says rapid tests will be available at "MWC relevant testing centers" but hasn't yet announced what these will cost.
Daily testing is therefore not required, but instead attendees are asked to complete a health questionnaire in the MWC phone app before they enter the venue each day. GSMA says attendees must practice social distancing, wear an FFP2 face mask and make use of the 1,300 disinfectant dispensers placed around the venue.
As for entering Spain from abroad, an exception allowing 'highly qualified workers' entry from outside the EU has been adjusted to include those visiting MWC.
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