MWC 2020 organizers to decide today whether to cancel event
UPDATE: The organizers of MWC have scheduled an emergency meeting today at 14:00 CET, spanish newspaper El País is reporting. A final decision on whether MWC 2020 is canceled or not will be announced immediately after.
Wired has heard from sources familiar with the matter that the GMSA is now keen to cancel MWC entirely because of the large number of withdrawals. Holding them back is the Catalonian government, which would need to declare a health emergency and block the event for insurance to be claimed. The original story continues below.
The organizers of Mobile World Congress 2020, GSM Association, insisted days ago that there are no plans to cancel the event. But following several new withdrawals, it appears the organizers are rethinking their decision.
We'll know on Friday if MWC 2020 is canceled
According to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, the GSMA will meet this Friday to assess the ongoing coronavirus situation and the risk it poses for business and members of the public attending MWC 2020 in Barcelona.
The meeting in question takes place annually before Mobile World Congress, but will be used this time around to determine whether or not this year’s event should be canceled entirely to prevent further spread of the virus.
There’s no word just yet on which way the GSMA is leaning in terms of its decision, but it’s believed European carriers Telefonica (O2), Orange, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) have a huge role in the decision. These four companies are arguably the backbone of MWC and a decision on their part to pull out would be catastrophic.
GSMA has announced new preventative measures
The organizers have already announced plans to provide extra sanitary products to attendees. It’s also planning to use thermal cameras to detect people with high temperatures, a key symptom of coronavirus.
GSMA also confirmed that people traveling from China’s Hubei province won’t be allowed to enter. Everybody else will be required to prove they have been outside of China for at least 14 days, but how they plan to enforce the latter remains to be seen.
While most international travelers will have their passports, EU nationals are allowed to enter the event with their national identity cards, which don’t include any travel stamps.