The GSMA says that despite the coronavirus outbreak, the MWC Barcelona event (24-27 February 2020) will proceed as planned, across all venues at Fira Gran Via Fira Montjuïc and La Farga L’Hospitalet, including YoMo and Four Years From Now (4YFN).
The first deputy mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, guaranteed on Wednesday 5 February, that during MWC Barcelona there would be ‘permanent coordination’ with the health authorities, as a preventive measure against the outbreak of coronavirus. He stressed at a press event, the close and coordinated relationship between institutions, the GSMA and health authorities.
The GSMA has implemented many measures to help to mitigate the spread of the virus and is continuing to add other actions regularly. In particular, there are additional health measures that have been put in place which include:
- A free 24-hour telephone Security and Medical service for all attendees, operational from 12-29 February 2020. This number appears on the back of badge holders, in the event App and on signage around the venue: +34 900 77 2020
- Hygiene recommendations to Barcelona hotels, public and private transport, restaurants and catering outlets, etc.
- The GSMA has reinforced the on-site first aid facilities to assist attendees
- Developed plans in alignment with the Public Health Authority Services which are subject to medical and health authority approval.
- The GSMA is building on its existing plans to protect the health of attendees, clients and staff at MWC Barcelona. Colleagues around the world are taking active measures to contain and lessen any further spread of the virus. These measures include adhering to advice from the WHO and other health authorities, respecting travel restrictions where they exist, arriving early in Spain to allow time for self-quarantine and ensuring access to masks.
Meanwhile, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson has been added to the list of companies withdrawing from the international telecoms conference.
Ericsson said it had made the decision to withdraw after carrying out an extensive internal risk assessment and that the health and safety of its staff and customers was paramount.
“Ericsson appreciates that GSMA have done everything they can to control the risk,” company said in a statement.
“However, as one of the largest exhibitors, Ericsson has thousands of visitors in its hall each day and even if the risk is low, the company cannot guarantee the health and safety of its employees and visitors.”
South Korea’s LG Electronics hsa also withdrew from MWC.