The GSMA is continuing to monitor and assess the potential impact of the Coronavirus on its MWC20 events held annually in Barcelona, Shanghai and Los Angeles and as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences. The GSMA confirms that there have been no registration impacts on MWC Barcelona thus far and the upcoming 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). Specifically, for MWC Barcelona 2020, measures are already in place, and updates can be found on www.mwcbarcelona.com/about/news/.
The WHO has agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and proposes advice to be issued as Temporary Recommendations. The updated WHO advice states that ‘Countries should place particular emphasis on reducing human infection, prevention of secondary transmission and international spread…. The Committee does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.’
The GSMA will:
- Carefully follow and adhere to: the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendations, all applicable Chinese government recommendations, all Spanish health authority recommendations and all police/health recommendations and protocols
- Work with Fira de Barcelona to ensure sufficient sanitising products throughout all venues and implement other activity in line with recommendations from our city partners
- Guide exhibitors who may not be able to travel to MWC Barcelona (via GSMA account managers or the Customer Care Team) on local companies and services who may be able to address their onsite needs.
Measures we are planning to implement at MWC will include, but not be limited to:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints, e.g. catering areas, surfaces, handrails, WCs, entrances/exits, public touch-screens, etc. along with the use of correct cleaning/sanitising materials and products
- Increased onsite medical support
- Awareness campaign via online and onsite info-share and signage
- Availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use
- Awareness and training to all staff and associates on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitising/disinfection products, etc.
- Advice to exhibitors on implementing effective cleaning and disinfection of stands, offices along with guidance on personal hygiene measures and common preventive behaviour
- Public health guidelines and advice communication to Barcelona hotels, public and private transport, restaurants and catering outlets, retail, etc.
We strongly urge exhibitors and attendees to implement appropriate guidelines and protocols as suggested by the WHO and other health authorities to contain and mitigate against any further spread of the virus. Up-to-date WHO advice can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance and the most recent press release issued by WHO is here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov).
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators and nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Shanghai and Los Angeles, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.