This year's Mobile World Congress event, which typically takes place in Barcelona in late February, was rescheduled to late June in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While there is hope that the situation will be better in a few months, the GSMA today announced a number of measures that will be taken in order to ensure that participants at MWC will be able to stay safe during the event.
The plan is called Committed Community, and the GSMA says it's a "multi-layered" plan, with measures spanning different aspects of the event. For starters, participants will use the My MWC smartphone app to enter the event, instead of carrying the typical physical badge. The app will allow participants to enter once they've been tested for COVID-19, and it will remind them to get tested again within 72 hours.
Safety measures include requiring participants coming from certain regions - as determined by Spanish authorities - to show a negative test before flying to Barcelona, rapid tests being made at multiple testing centers near the event, and temperature checks at all access points. For the venue itself, the organization has doubled the number of entrances and exits to allow a better flow of people, restaurants in the area have been redesigned to allow for social distancing, and new sanitization protocols have been put in place. There will also be isolation rooms to allow for better assessments of participants, more medical personnel will be onsite, and contact tracing data will be shared with health authorities if necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
As the organization had previously mentioned, MWC Barcelona will also be a hybrid event to accommodate those who can't or choose not to attend in light of the circumstances. Of course, the situation around COVID-19 is always evolving, and the GSMA says it's ready to adapt to any changes necessary as it continues to evaluate the pandemic. Registration for MWC21 is set to open in the coming weeks.