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FAQ Background

The GSMA has shared details of its health and safety plan for MWC21 Barcelona, developed with and approved by Catalan Health authorities.

Our safety approach meets the directives and recommendations for event organizers according to the Sectorial Plan of Fairs and Congresses, elaborated by the Department of Business and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya – and approved by the Technical Committee of the PROCICAT in July 2020.

When we made the decision to cancel MWC Barcelona 2020, none of us anticipated just how significant an influence the global pandemic would continue to have on our lives one year later. We thank the people of Barcelona for their spirit of generosity and we look forward to hosting a safe and vibrant MWC21 in Barcelona.

With a number of expert partners, we’ve designed Committed Community, our most rigorous health and safety plan to date. Using the latest technology and scientific insights, the multi-layered plan focuses on enhanced safety measures so we can bring together the mobile ecosystem, even in our new normal.

It will impact everyone involved with the event and begins at registration. Your digital badge is activated when online registration is completed, a subsequent negative Covid-19 test is resulted and the health declaration is answered through the My MWC app. Check in to get in is the first step in a layered approach designed to ensure an environment that will keep everyone safe, including staff, workers, exhibitors, visitors, suppliers, and partners.

The multiple layers of “filtering” during a participant’s journey while attending are designed to significantly mitigate exposure. The layers incorporate frequent testing, daily health declarations, technology, wearing an FFP2 (Filtering Facepiece Respirators) mask and upgrades to the event venue’s infrastructure. These upgrades include creating a touchless environment across the venue (as an example traditional face to face points of service eliminated and moved on-line, points of Sale all converted to cashless), fresh air injection/external ventilation to significantly improve air-flow to the highest standards; more medical facilities on site; food preparation, delivery and offering have all been extensively modified to meet the strictest food safe Covid-19 measures; technology to monitor real-time occupancy monitoring, the introduction of personal health and safety commitments such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and facemask wearing. The plan builds on the Protocol on Safety and Prevention against COVID-19 currently being implemented by Fira de Barcelona.

Recently, Fira de Barcelona was awarded the World Travel Tourism Council “Safe Travels” stamp for its Covid-19 safety measures. These measures were designed in collaboration with the specialist risk management consultancy Aon and with the advice of the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, a benchmark epidemiological centre. They detail a whole set of measures resulting from an exhaustive analysis of more than 400 processes associated with the holding of fairs and congresses.

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What is included in your health and safety plan?

Testing

  • Before flying, and as directed by the Government of Spain, all passengers from a country or zone of risk (except for children under 6 years old), must have a PCR or TMA for SARS-CoV-2 with a negative result, carried out in the 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain. The airlines will firstly enforce the requirement and will be subsequently re-checked upon arrival at the airport.
  • Access to the event venue will be allowed on strict condition of a valid, negative Antigen test (commonly referred to as a “rapid test”) result. This includes the official build period for MWC21 (for booths, etc.), during the event, and afterwards during the dismantling period (take down booths, etc.). This strict condition applies to all attendees, staff, visitors and suppliers. Without the valid, negative test, access will be denied. If you’ve just arrived in Spain via aeroplane and have a valid, negative test, then you may use it, if you enter the event within 72 hours from when you took the test. You can scan the test certificate and send it to the My MWC app for our medical partner, Quirónprevención, to check the validity and remaining time.
  • The test result will be valid for 72 hours. No remaining partial hours will be permitted for access to the venue. Only full valid days remaining will be permitted. The digital badge will indicate the time of expiration.
  • If the test is positive, the individual will be required to do an additional PCR test. If the PCR test is positive, the public authorities along with Quirónprevención, a leading provider of medical services, will manage according to their protocol.
  • We are partnering with Quirónprevención, a leading provider of medical services in order to address the testing needs of our attendees, staff, visitors, and suppliers. Rapid tests will be available at the dedicated MWC testing center at Fira Gran Via, Hall 1. All tests will be performed by qualified personnel from Quirónprevención. Quirónprevención will staff the onsite medical testing facilities and coordinate with Catalan health authorities. More information on Quirónprevención can be found here, https://www.quironprevencion.com/en/
  • Upload your valid, negative, PCR or Antigen (rapid) test result to the My MWC app. You can also book aa rapid test via the My MWC app. The test result is valid for a period up to 72 hours, with participants notified through the My MWC app of upcoming expiration. No remaining partial hours will be permitted for access to the venue.
  • For your convenience, there will be a dedicated MWC testing center at Fira Gran Via, Hall 1 to address your testing needs onsite. Opening hours: Build up and dismantling from 08:00 - 20:00. Weekend prior to the event and event days from 06:00 to 22:00. Price of a rapid test is €15. We are also offering the service of booking a PCR test for €85 for attendees that, for example, need one in order to return to their country of origin.
  • The results of a negative test, and the completion of a daily health declaration form (on your MYMWC app) will activate the digital badge for the day. Subsequently, a daily health declaration will be required to re-activate the digital badge as well as valid test within the full 72 hours for the following days.
  • Expired test results will de-activate the digital badge and access to the venue will be denied. A new test must be performed, with a negative result necessary to re-activate the digital badge.


Venue and environment

  • MWC will be a ‘touchless’ environment. Previously, customer service areas at Fira Barcelona were in-person. Now, they are online. These services include registration, ID verification and information points.
  • Cafes and restaurants inside the venue have been re-designed to ensure social distancing and food preparation and delivery adheres to enhanced standards. They comply with the latest regulatory criteria directed by the local Health Authorities for Food and Beverage. These regulations include hand sanitizing, capacity reduction to comply with social distancing and queue management to avoid crowds. These regulations are followed by every food and beverage point inside the venue. To reduce interactions, every kiosk, café and restaurant will work under a cashless policy.
  • Fira de Barcelona has increased sanitization protocols of all areas of the Fira Gran Via venue, including the addition of disinfectant dispensers placed throughout.
  • The Gran Via exhibition halls are equipped with state-of-the art ventilation systems, meeting the highest standard of air-recirculation AD1, at 20 litres per second, per person. The venue manages fresh-air injection (from outdoors) into the pavilion mixed with indoor, regenerated air to ensure air quality. In order to mitigate the existence of aerosols inside the halls, Covid19 regulations in Spain require for the injection of 20 litres per second of outdoors fresh air, per each person inside the hall. The more capacity and people inside the venue, the more outdoors air intake is needed. That’s why Gran Via venue has reduced the capacity of halls to a simultaneous capacity of 55,000 people.
  • Fira Barcelona has also invested in providing each hall with an air quality monitoring system that monitors and displays temperature, % humidity and CO2 ppm levels.
  • Upgraded infrastructure including new cameras and systems will support our active capacity and density management, ensuring social distancing guidelines are adhered to along with one-way flows.
  • Entrances and exits have been doubled to ensure social distancing and support one-way traffic flow through the venue. We will use technology for contact tracing to mitigate and manage potential exposure and will share relevant data, if requested by health authorities.
  • The venue will be disinfected regularly, including stands, product samples and audio-visual equipment.


Your commitment to keeping others safe, before you enter the venue perimeter

  • Complete registration to activate your digital badge.
  • Download the My MWC app, a bespoke app designed for MWC21 Barcelona, after registration.
  • Have a valid negative test result.
  • Complete the daily health declaration in the My MWC app. You will be prompted by the app to answer the daily questionnaire. If you do not complete the daily questionnaire, you will be denied access.
  • In order for the digital badge to be fully activated, the test must be negative and, at the same time, the health declaration answered.
  • Stay safe: attendees and everyone participating in the event must make regular use of the disinfectant dispensers placed around the venue, wear a FFP2 (Filtering Facepiece Respirators) mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines. The FFP2 mask is designed for highest mutual protection.
  • Face masks:
    • Everyone must wear a FFP2 mask satisfying European Standard EN 149:2001 and bearing the CE mark. Please note that FFP2 masks with exhalation valves are not allowed.
    • Cloth masks will not be accepted, even if two masks are worn at the same time (double masking).
    • The mask must be in good condition and replaced as per instructions from the manufacturer.
    • Exhibitors must ensure that every person in its stand (including, but not limited to stand staff, suppliers, contractors and visitors) is correctly wearing their face mask at all times. This applies during build-up, show days and dismantling.
    • All individuals are required to bring their own facemask(s), satisfying the criteria set forth above, to the Event. GSMA will not be provide facemasks to any Event participants. Any individuals without approved facemasks may be denied entry to, or asked to leave, the Event.
    • Masks will be available on-site for purchase if necessary.


Medical protocols

  • The medical facilities have been increased and adapted to incorporate Covid-19 protocols including the addition of isolation rooms to facilitate assessments in a fully safe environment that protects the medical staff and the rest of participants in the venue.
  • The number of medical personnel onsite has increased in order to conduct assessments, administer PCR or rapid tests and to coordinate where necessary with Catalan health authorities.

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Where are the testing facilities located?

For your convenience, there will be a dedicated MWC testing center at Fira Gran Via, Hall 1 to address your testing needs onsite.

The opening hours are:

  • Build up and dismantling from 08:00 - 20:00
  • Weekend prior to the event and event days from 06:00 to 22:00.

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What happens if I test positive?

Positive results (will be confirmed with an additional PCR test) and managed according to the public health authorities’ protocol at the time of the event.


If you are onsite at MWC:

If you are onsite at MWC and not feeling well, seek assistance at the closest first aid point inside the venue. You will be assessed by trained, medical staff according to the Covid-19 infection protocols at the time of the event. If the medical assessment concludes that you require further investigation, medical staff will carry out a rapid test. You will wait for the result of the rapid test in the onsite isolation room, located at the first aid centre.

If the result of the rapid test is positive, a PCR test will be done. The PCR test takes 4-6 hours to return a result. The medical staff will decide where you should wait for the PCR results, based on your symptoms and the health protocols in place. You might be asked to wait in the onsite isolation room, at your hotel or a dedicated quarantine hotel.

  • If the result of the PCR test is negative, the doctor will contact the patient and advise accordingly
  • If the result of the PCR test is positive a doctor will medically assess the attendee and determine:
  1. If the patient needs to go to a hospital
  2. If the patient needs to go to a dedicated hotel to quarantine


If you are offsite, e.g. at your hotel and not feeling well:

Depending on the severity, we recommend either contacting medical personnel or the hospitality service of Quirón Salud at +34 901123456. This is a 24/7 service free for all MWC registrants and operative from the first day of build up until the last day of dismantling.

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What are the safety protocols at hotels and restaurants?

Barcelona Hotel Association health and safety measures include:

  • Protection kit on arrival which includes masks, gloves and sanitizing gel
  • Contactless payment system
  • Express check-in and check-out online
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner served by hotel staff to avoid direct contact with guests
  • Temperature checks, social distancing, hygiene protocols and ongoing training
  • Limiting non-guests access to the hotel

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What are the safety protocols for transportation around Barcelona including taxis, buses, metro?

Regardless of mode of transportation, our partnership with local transport entities will help create an environment where all attendees feel safe.

Metro and Bus networks in Barcelona are now officially accredited with the Applus certificate as safe for their protocols and procedures involving cleaning, disinfection and control. Plan your transport journey by consulting the estimated level of occupancy on the TMB app, the Barcelona public transport app

Local transport health and safety measures include:

  • Hydro-alcoholic gel dispensers at stations
  • Compulsory wearing of protective face masks
  • Constant air renewal inside the trains and increased ventilation on buses
  • Enhanced procedures for cleaning vehicles and facilities, including new innovative techniques to improve disinfection processes with UV light
  • Installation of signs to facilitate adherence to social distance

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Who has approved the health and safety plan – which authorities?

Our health and safety plan, Committed Community, is developed with and approved by Catalan Health authorities. Our safety approach meets the directives and recommendations for event organizers according to the Sectorial Plan of Fairs and Congresses, elaborated by the Department of Business and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya – and approved by the Technical Committee of the PROCICAT in July 2020.

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How does track and trace work – is it controlled by GSMA or Spanish Health Authorities?

We will use contact tracing technology to mitigate and manage potential exposure. Relevant data will be shared if requested by health authorities. This information will be kept safe and confidential in a database. The tracing process and outreach consultation will be managed by the health authorities. Attendees will have their digital badge scanned by exhibitor staff/MWC staff depending on location

  • at entry and exit of enclosed spaces
  • and where meetings take longer than 15 minutes

Our venue partner , Fira Barcelona, will provide the scanning devices. Exhibitors will be required to order contact tracing devices from these suppliers and scan visitors as per guidelines above.

Note: Masks and social distancing requirements will continue to be required in the meeting rooms.

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Why are you using rapid testing and not PCR testing since that is what the Spanish authorities require for entry through border control into Spain at the airport?

Since anyone entering Spain will already have a negative PCR, our mandatory direction for rapid testing every 72 hours provides further layers of protection. As always, health and safety are a paramount consideration, and we are working closely with authorities to ensure we incorporate all guidance and provide the best level of protection possible at the event.

The health and safety plan, Committed Community, is a multi-layered approach designed to ensure an environment that will keep everyone safe, including staff, workers, exhibitors, visitors, suppliers, partners, and the people of Barcelona.

The layers incorporate frequent testing, contact tracing, a touchless environment, re-vamped catering, occupancy monitoring, upgrades to facility infrastructure, increased medical staff and personal commitments like adhering to social distancing. The plan builds on the Protocol on Safety and Prevention against COVID-19 currently being implemented by Fira de Barcelona.

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Will you accept a vaccine certificate / passport instead of a negative test certificate? If not, why not?

Currently, there is no global standard for proof of vaccine approved by governments. Therefore, for now, we have decided to use the rapid test. Should the situation change from now until June we will adjust as necessary. Therefore, all will need to be tested or have current 72-hour valid test.

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Will all halls at the Fira be dedicated to MWC Barcelona?

As with previous years, the entire Fira Gran Via venue will be leased to the GSMA for MWC21. This year, we are planning for around 35,000 - 50,000 people to attend and we are re-designing the layout to ensure social distancing, active capacity, crowd density management and one-way crowd flows, including doubling entrances and exits.

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How long will a negative test allow me to attend MWC?

A test is valid for a 72-hour period and must not ‘expire’ whilst you are onsite. All participants will be required to have a negative rapid test to access the venue. The test must be repeated every 72 hours with participants notified through the My MWC app of upcoming expiration. Therefore, participants will only be allowed to enter the venue if they have a full day validity remaining on their 72 hour time frame.

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What do I do if I don’t have a full day’s validity in my test period but I want to access MWC?

As a test is valid for a 72-hour period you will need to get a new test at the dedicated MWC testing center (at Fira Gran Via, Hall 1) for the full day you intend to visit the event. The test must be repeated every 72 hours with participants notified through the My MWC app of upcoming expiration.

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Will I be able to enter for a half day / x hours if I don’t have a full day left in my negative test window?

No. You will only be allowed access to MWC with a full day’s validity in any one test period.

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If I require a visa to enter Spain, are there any new requirements to consider?

Visa requirements for travel are dynamic and we encourage everyone travelling to attend the show to remain up-to-date by accessing this website, as well as travel information issued by your country of residence. Please access this website for further information: Spain Travel Health portal

In addition, to support all our exhibitors, attendees, sponsors and partners, we have partnered with a leading independent travel management company, Gray Dawes, to facilitate travel requirements. At no charge to MWC21 participants travelling to Barcelona, the leading independent travel management company will provide on-call support and consultancy for all those travelling to participate in MWC21. MWC21 attendees will have the travel support they need. Gray Dawes Travel will help with a range of travel-related advice and support covering Covid-19 considerations and PCR testing, travel documentation and visa forms, quarantine and border restrictions, and travel itineraries. Travellers may also choose to work directly with Gray Dawes to book their flights

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If I have been in a meeting with someone who subsequently tests positive what will I have to do?

The health authorities will contact you directly and communicate next steps. Our contact tracing will facilitate this action.

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How will you mitigate against a ‘false negative’ test?

All participants will be required to have a negative rapid test repeated every 72 hours, with participants notified through the My MWC app of upcoming expiration. Our dedicated MWC testing centre at Fira Gran Via, Hall 1, will be available to support this routine. All tests will be performed by qualified personnel from Quirónprevención, our partner and leading provider of medical services, working alongside the Catalan Health Authorities. Whilst in the venue, temperature checks will also be conducted at all access points.

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Will I need to pay for COVID tests for the duration of MWC Barcelona?

Yes, because of our partnership with Quirónprevención, MWC21 attendees can buy discounted tests at the dedicated MWC testing center at Fira Gran Via, Hall 1. Price of a rapid test is €15. Price of the PCR test is €85.

All tests will be performed by qualified personnel from Quirónprevención. Quirónprevención will staff the onsite medical testing facilities and coordinate with Catalan health authorities. More information on Quirónprevención can be found here, https://www.quironprevencion.com/en/

Opening hours: Build up and dismantling from 08:00 - 20:00. Weekend prior to the event and event days from 06:00 to 22:00.

Payment for your test will be taken onsite at the payment desk (credit card only) in the Test Centre. Please access the My MWC App or your registration account to book your test.

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How will I provide my negative test certificate prior to arriving at MWC?

If you have a negative test prior to arriving at MWC you can scan and upload the negative test certificate to the My MWC app. You will need to provide the certificate to our medical services partner who will process the certificate and inform you if the test is valid or not, according to Spanish health authorities protocols.

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How long will it take to have my negative test certificate processed?

It will take about 15 minutes after taking the test to have the results of the test.

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What is the process after I have registered to attend MWC? Where can I get more information?

Check in to get in is the first step to complete on the MWC21 Barcelona registration page.

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What test certificates do you accept? What is the criteria for an acceptable test certificate?

As directed by the Spain Travel Health Portal,if you are coming from a country / zone considered to be at risk, you MUST carry a certificate of a negative result of the AIDT (RT-PCR or other molecular techniques for detecting viral RNA with equivalent reliability, such as TMA, RT-LAMP) for COVID19, carried out in the 72 hours prior to your arrival. You may be required to show the certificate upon entry into Spain by the authorities. Children under 6 years of age are not required to take this test.”

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Who sets the rules and criteria for the GSMA’s test regime?

The GSMA, working together with and following the advice of medical experts and our medical services partner, has developed the testing plan for MWC21.

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What additional requirements are there for entry into Spain from non-EU / EU / other countries?

Please refer to this website: Spain Travel Health portal

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If I arrive into Barcelona after my negative test period has expired, what do I do?

It is a requirement to enter Spanish borders to have a valid test from 72 prior to arrival. At the airport you will be asked to present your valid test. Failure to do so means that Spanish health authorities will require you to take a test; and they will decide on next steps depending on results.

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What are the dates for MWC2022?

The 2022 dates are from 28 February to 3rd March 2022

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How much will tests cost?

  • Price of a rapid test is €15.
  • Price of the PCR test is €85.

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Return Home PCR Test (optional / subject to different countries’ entry regulations):

If required for your return journey, you can book and receive a PCR test at our Onsite Test Centre in Fira Gran Via, Hall 1. Be sure you are aware of and satisfy all requirements for re-entry into your country of origin.

  • The price of the PCR test is €85 – payable at the Onsite Test Centre
  • The PCR test provided is a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
  • Test results are provided in 24 hours – you will receive an email with your result


To book a PCR test,click here.

Onsite Test Centre opening hours:

Build up and dismantling from 08:00 - 20:00.
26 June - 02 July from 06:00 - 22:00.

For more information, including group voucher purchase, contact our Health Service provider Quirónprovención at [email protected] / +34 901 500 555.

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