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CES 2022 Will Require Proof Of Vaccination From Attendees

The massive Las Vegas tech show returns in-person in January, but with a vaccination requirement. The decision ‘may not be popular for some,’ says the CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which puts on CES.

After taking a year off from its in-person event, CES will be back in Las Vegas in January with proof of vaccination required to attend.

The Consumer Technology Association, which puts on the massive tech show, announced the proof of vaccination requirement for CES 2022 on Tuesday.

[Related: HPE Establishes COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate]

In a blog post, CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro acknowledged that “we know our decision to require vaccines—and potentially positive antibody tests—may not be popular for some.”

“But for many others it will allow them to know they can experience CES once again—and get back to business as usual,” Shapiro said in the blog.

This past January, CES 2021 was held in an all-online format amid the pandemic. For CES 2022, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from Jan. 5-8, there will also be a digital event held in parallel with the in-person conference.

The proof of vaccination requirement was announced as the coronavirus Delta variant continues to spread rapidly, largely among non-vaccinated individuals.

Still, in-person conferences have begun to return including the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas earlier this month. Black Hat did not require proof of vaccination to attend.

Even without a pandemic, CES—which has drawn 180,000 attendees in past years—has long been notorious for causing many attendees to go home sick.

“That was always known as a superspreader event” even before COVID-19, said Jerry Zigmont, owner of MacWorks, an Apple consultancy in New Haven, Conn., who has attended CES in the past.

Because of that, as well as the seriousness of the Delta variant, “I do think it’s a reasonable expectation to be able to show [vaccine] credentials,” Zigmont said.

The Consumer Technology Association did say in a news release that it’s “assessing” the possibility of accepting a positive antibody test as an alternative to the vaccination requirement. The organization said it “will share more details on this later.”

“CTA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and will announce additional or modified protocols closer to the show,” the organization said in the release.

The release said that more than 1,000 companies are expected to showcase at CES 2022. That’s a fraction of the number that exhibited during the last in-person show, CES 2020, when more than 4,000 companies participated.

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