CES tech show shutting down a day early amid Covid surge

LAS VEGAS (AFP): The CES tech show announced Friday that the Las Vegas event next week will go on in person but will end one day early amid the surge in Covid-19 infections.

Many high-profile participants like Amazon, BMW and Microsoft have pulled out or reduced their footprint at one of the world’s largest trade fairs due to health concerns as the Omicron variant has sent US Covid-19 cases to record levels.

CES organizers called the decision to shorten the event an additional safety measure on top of stricter health protocols.

“As the world’s most influential technology event, CES is steadfast in its pledge to be the gathering place to showcase products and discuss ideas that will ultimately make our lives better,” said Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Technology Association.

“We are shortening the show to three days and have put in place comprehensive health measures for the safety of all attendees and participants.”

All attendees at the January 5-7 event must present proof of vaccination and have a negative Covid test before entering the venue.

The CTA said 2,200 exhibitors will attend the trade show — half the expected number — which also will feature an online version.

But even the more limited format will showcase hot new technologies, from autonomous cars, to commercial spaceflight to the latest gadgets.