GSMA STATEMENT ON CORONAVIRUS

Press Releases

Post date

February 4, 2020

04 February 2020, London: The GSMA continues 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 is minimal impact on the event thus far. MWC Barcelona 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). 

As previously stated, the GSMA has implemented many measures to help to mitigate the spread of the virus and is continuing to add other actions regularly.  Measures in place include;

  • 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.

Measures added this week include;

  • Installing new signage onsite reminding attendees of hygiene recommendations
  • Implementing a mic change protocol in production for speakers
  • Communicating advice to all attendees to adopt a ‘no-handshake policy’

The GSMA is building on its existing plans to protect the health of our attendees, clients and staff at MWC Barcelona. GSMA colleagues around the world are taking strong measures to contain and lessen any further spread of the virus.  These measures include adhering to advice from the WHO and other health authorities, respecting travel restrictions where they exist, arriving early in Spain to allow time for self-quarantine and ensuring access to masks.

Up-to-date WHO advice and facts can be found here: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance

Spain, the City of Barcelona and the GSMA look forward to welcoming you at MWC Barcelona 2020. The show will inspire! We believe a connected world is a better world. Come get connected.

Further updates from the GSMA, answers to the most frequently asked questions and an outline of the measures that have been implemented, are on our website and can be found on www.mwcbarcelona.com.

-ENDS-

Translation
Chinese

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. 

Media Contacts:

GSMA Press Office
[email protected]

FAQ

General

general2

What measures / precautions are you taking at MWC Barcelona to address the Coronavirus?

MWC Barcelona is recognised as the mobile industry’s must-attend event. Held annually, the event attracts and welcomes executives from the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations from across the globe.

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 is following and adhering 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. However, we strongly urge exhibitors and attendees to also 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.

Working together with local and national government health authorities, and following the advice of global authorities such as the World Health Organisation, The GSMA is building on its existing plan to protect the health of our attendees, clients and staff at MWC2020. 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 – doubled over last year
  • 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 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.
  • Installing new signage onsite reminding attendees of hygiene recommendations
  • Implementing a mic change protocol in production for speakers
  • Communicating advice to all attendees to adopt a ‘no-handshake policy’
  • A 24-hour telephone Security and Medical service for all attendees, operational from 12th to 29th February 2020. This number appears on the back of badge holders, in the event App and on signage around the venue: +34 900 77 2020

While further planning is underway, we will continue to monitor the situation and will adapt our plan according to developments and advice we receive. Services we provide will be subject to medical and health authority approval.

What will the GSMA be doing about large numbers of overseas attendees at MWC Barcelona?

MWC Barcelona is recognised as the mobile industry’s must-attend event and welcomes executives from the world’s largest and most influential, media and entertainment organisations, and government delegations from across the globe.

The WHO has stressed that restricting the movement of people and goods during public health emergencies may be ineffective. WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said:

“There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. WHO doesn’t recommend limiting trade and movement. We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent.”

Outbreaks of Corona novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern but must always be viewed in context. The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention estimates of the cumulative in-season numbers of flu illnesses, medical visits, hospitalisations, and deaths just in the United States are as follows:

*www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

Is there a possibility that the whole event will be cancelled or rescheduled?

The upcoming MWC Barcelona event will proceed as planned, 24-27 February 2020, across all venues at Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc, including YoMo and Four Years From Now (4YFN).

Event Support

support

Can the GSMA/MWC help with visa support/entry into Spain?

The GSMA, through our partner Fira de Barcelona, has a close relationship with the Spanish Immigration service and all MWC attendees, when requesting a Visa Invitation, are given special recognition by Spanish embassies, consulates and visa issuing agencies worldwide. It is important to note that we have to abide by the host nation’s immigration laws and guidelines and cannot overrule decisions or outcomes of any individual’s application.

See Registration FAQs for more information on visa invitation letters: https://register.mwcbarcelona.com/help

What flexibility is there regarding the possible changes for exhibitors, such as change in name, sending different persons, etc.?

We suggest you contact your hotel provider for information relating to their specific cancellation & amendment policy.  The process for substituting one attendee with another is outlined in Registration FAQs: https://register.mwcbarcelona.com/help

Medical Assistance

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Are there any special requirements for those travelling from China to MWC Barcelona 2020, e.g. health certificate or other?

At present, there is no requirement to provide any health certification for travel between China and Spain (excluding travel from any of the affected areas) and no additional documentation is required. However, we advise that all travellers consult their respective government’s travel advice and secure the correct visas, etc. well in advance of their travel date.

What onsite medical facilities will be available at MWC (during both build-up and the event)?

The GSMA will provide increased onsite medical support and facilities in the run-up to and during the event. 

Will you be providing facemasks onsite?

Yes, GSMA will have a provision of face masks on site for those wishing to use them. As stocks may be limited and supplied on a first come first served basis, we also recommend you bring your own onsite.

Will there be health checks performed at the event?

Current advice from local and national health authorities is that there is no requirement for health screening. We will continue to monitor the situation and act according to any changes. For information on Barcelona airport, see www.aeropuertobarcelona-elprat.com/  

What happens should someone become ill at the show?

The GSMA works in cooperation with all public health authorities; from examination through to verification of a positive or negative case and all action after that. Any necessary steps on-site will be determined and mandated by the public health authorities (Salut Publica) and subsequently executed on-site by the GSMA.  The GSMA is establishing the necessary protocol with Salut Publica on all procedures, end to end.

Changes to my Participation

participation

What cover does the GSMA insurance policy provide in the event of us cancelling our Exhibition/Advertising/Sponsorship?

Please refer to our ‘Standard Terms and Conditions for Exhibition, Advertising, and Sponsorship’ for conditions related to the insurance you have purchased – specifically clause 19 relates to insurance, and the associated Summary of Exhibition Insurance Coverage gives detail of the cover provided and all exclusions.  We also advise that you look at your own company insurance policy. 

Can I cancel my pass as a result of Coronavirus?

The GSMA appreciates that you might have concerns over travelling yet we remain committed to delivering an exciting MWC2020 and sincerely hope you will attend.

In the first instance, we ask you to consult our Attendee Terms and Conditions and familiarise yourself with our cancellation policy. You may substitute/replace your registration with another member of your organisation at any time before the event. For more information on Substitution, please see Registration FAQs: https://register.mwcbarcelona.com/help

Can I cancel my Exhibition Stand / Advertising / Sponsorship as a result of the Coronavirus?

The GSMA remains committed to delivering an exciting MWC2020 and sincerely hopes you can attend. In the first instance, we ask that you consult our ‘Standard Terms and Conditions for Exhibition, Advertising, and Sponsorship’. Additionally, please contact your account manager to discuss further.

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