The Consumer Technology Association has announced that it will require all CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show) attendees to be vaccinated. Organizers have stated that everyone planning on going to the trade event will be required to “provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination” if they’ve any hope of being granted entry.
“Based on today’s science, we understand vaccines offer us the best hope for stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, explained. “We all play a part in ending the pandemic through encouraging vaccinations and implementing the right safety protocols. We are taking on our responsibility by requiring proof of vaccination to attend CES 2022 in Las Vegas.”
While the group said that it was also considering allowing people to provide proof of a positive antibody test as an alternative to vaccination, nothing has yet been decided on that front. For now, vaccination passports will be the only way to be granted entry.
“We know our decision to require vaccines — and potentially positive antibody tests — may not be popular for some, but for many others it will allow them to know they can experience CES once again — and get back to business as usual,” Shapiro stated.
“For those who cannot attend CES in person, we offer the CES experience through our digital platform and hope to welcome you back to Las Vegas in 2023. Regardless of how you choose to participate in CES 2022, I hope you find inspiration, make new connections, build your business and step into the rest of the year with a renewed sense of hope for how tech continues to improve all our lives.”
Organizers said they would be following state and local guidelines, as well as the recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the CDC issued indoor masking recommendations (including vaccinated individuals) the CES doesn’t appear to be requiring at all. The public health agency likewise confirmed that vaccinations (which it still supports) don’t actually prevent someone from spreading the virus (particularly Delta), instead stating that it lessened symptoms for those exposed.
These restrictions feel kind of useless considering how easily vaccination cards can be faked. You literally only need a printer capable of feeding 100 card stock. Though affixing any government insignias to that piece of paper would technically be a crime and not something I would recommend, even if the likelihood of your being caught is effectively zero.
As someone who supports informed consent and opposes a papers-please society, I would probably just recommend snubbing CES 2022 entirely. All of this has become so overbearing and inconsistent that it no longer appears to be helping to get things done. The United States already has one of the highest vaccination rates (51.4 percent) of any large nation and it’s unclear what more can realistically be accomplished.
Of course, if you’re keen to show medical documents each time you enter a public building, CES seems happy to accommodate. The event is scheduled to commence on January 5th, 2020, and play host to over 1,000 companies in Las Vegas. Primarily focused on tech, there is typically a large automotive presence at CES featuring the latest in automation, electrification, and vehicular connectivity. General Motors CEO Mary Barra will also be on hand to deliver a keynote speech pertaining to all of the above.
“Mary Barra disrupted an industry at an inflection point by showing the potential of an all-electric future. GM stock hit an all-time high following the [last] show,” said Shapiro. “We are thrilled for her return at CES 2022 and look forward to hearing the progress GM has made towards an all-electric future and its vision for how this technology will benefit our planet.”
Details and updates will be provided via CES.tech and it’s strongly encouraged that you check back frequently if you’re planning to attend, as the organizers are likely to change COVID protocols several times and may just end up canceling the event. Plenty can change in five months.
[Image: RYO Alexandre/Shutterstock]
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.