CES 2022 will close on Jan. 7 amid COVID concerns, major exhibitors pulling out of show – CNET

The CTA announced the change as a safety measure for CES 2022 and as Microsoft, Google, Intel and others shifted to digital-only attendance.
More and more exhibitors are backing out of CES in Las Vegas amid rising cases of the more contagious omicron variant of COVID-19.
CES 2022 just became one day shorter. The Consumer Technology Association announced Friday that CES will now close on Jan. 7 as a safety measure amid concerns about spiking COVID-19 infection rates.
“We are shortening the show to three days and have put in place comprehensive health measures for the safety of all attendees and participants,” said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro in a Friday statement.
While the CTA is touting that 2,200 exhibitors are still confirmed to attend in person, major exhibitors like Microsoft, Google, AMD and Intel have either canceled or modified their in-person CES plans. CES 2022 is still set to kick off the first week in January, with the in-person Las Vegas show now running from Jan. 5 to Jan. 7. Preshow events like CES Unveiled and the CES Media Days are still planned for Jan. 3 and Jan. 4.
Those who are attending in person must submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and the CTA is asking attendees to test for the virus within 24 hours before entering a CES venue with a complimentary Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 self-testing kit that is being provided with badges. Masks will be required for all attendees in exhibit booths and indoor events. Complimentary PCR testing will also be provided for international attendees who require a test to travel after the show ends.
The change in the show’s length follows two weeks of companies announcing their pivot to virtual-only plans for CES 2022, which began with T-Mobile and has since come to include many others. Amid the dropouts, the CTA said that 143 new companies have signed up to be at the in-person event over the same period of time.
A statement from Mercedes, which dropped out on Dec. 29, reflects the views of many other companies that are now holding exclusively digital CES events.
“As the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and guests are our highest priority. In view of the current situation in connection with the COVID-19 virus, we’ve therefore decided to cancel Mercedes-Benz AG’s participation in CES 2022, after intensive consultations,” a spokesperson for the carmaker shared via email on Dec. 29. 
Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s mobile experts.
Even as higher-profile companies announced their withdrawals, the CTA emphasized that the show floor also plays host to small and medium-sized firms. CTA has left its Dec. 23 tweet, confirming its commitment to in-person plans, pinned to the top of its Twitter page.
Over 2200 companies are confirmed to participate in person at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. Our focus remains on convening the tech industry and giving those who cannot attend in person the ability to experience the magic of CES digitally.
“CES will and must go on,” Shapiro wrote in a Dec. 24 LinkedIn post. “It will have many more small companies than large ones. It may have big gaps on the show floor. Certainly, it will be different from previous years. It may be messy. But innovation is messy. It is risky and uncomfortable.”
The rapid spread of the omicron variant and rise in COVID-19 cases are making many people uneasy. On Dec. 28, the US surpassed 431,000 new daily cases — far higher than last winter’s pandemic peak on Jan. 8, 2021, when the US crossed 294,000 new daily cases, according to the CDC.
Here is the growing list of companies that have changed their minds about attending CES, starting with the most recent announcements:
The decisions follow the US reaching the grim milestone of 800,000 COVID-19 deaths earlier this month, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
Several companies will still host press conferences the day before the show starts, including some that no longer plan to have a physical presence at the tech show. CNET will livestream these on our main YouTube page and on our CNET Highlights YouTube page as part of our CES 2022 coverage. The current schedule for press day follows.
CES 2022 press day, Jan. 4 (all times are Pacific)
7 a.m.: AMD and TCL
8 a.m. LG Electronics and Nvidia
9 a.m.: Hisense
10 a.m.: Intel and Panasonic
11 a.m.: Qualcomm
12 p.m.: John Deere
1 p.m.: Canon
2 p.m.: Ottonomy
3 p.m.: Hyundai
4 p.m.: Indy Autonomous Challenge
5 p.m.: Sony
6:30 p.m.: Samsung

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