More and more exhibitors are withdrawing from CES in Las Vegas amid rising cases of the more contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Sarah Tew / CNET

This story is part of CESwhere CNET will soon be posting the latest news on the most incredible technology.

CES 2022 just got a day shorter. The Consumer Technology Association announced on Friday that CES will now close on January 7th as a security measure amid concerns about rising COVID-19 infection rates.

“We are shortening the show to three days and have taken extensive health measures to ensure the safety of all attendees and attendees,” said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro in a statement Friday.

While the CTA advertises that 2,200 exhibitors have still confirmed their personal participation, large exhibitors such as Microsoft, Google, AMD and Intel have either canceled or changed their personal CES plans. CES 2022 begins the first week of January, with the Las Vegas personal show now running January 5-7. Preshow events like CES Unveiled and the CES Media Days are still planned for January 3rd and January 4th.

Individuals attending in person will be required to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, and the CTA will require attendees to use a free of charge within 24 hours prior to entering a CES venue. to test for the virus Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Self-Test Kit which is provided with badges. All participants are required to wear a mask at exhibition stands and indoor events. Free PCR tests are also provided for international attendees who need a test to travel after the show has ended.

The show length change follows two weeks in which companies announced their pivot-to-virtual-only plans for CES 2022, which started with T-Mobile and has since included many others. Amid the dropouts, the CTA announced that 143 new companies had registered for the personal event during the same period.

A statement from Mercedes, which resigned on December 29, reflects the views of many other companies that now exclusively hold digital CES events.

“Because the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and guests is our top priority. In view of the current situation in connection with the COVID-19 virus, we have therefore decided to cancel the participation of Mercedes-Benz AG at CES 2022. “After intensive consultations,” said a spokesman for the car manufacturer on December 29 by e -Mail with.

While top-class companies were still announcing their withdrawal, the CTA emphasized that small and medium-sized companies are also at home on the exhibition space. CTA left its December 23rd tweet, which affirms his commitment to personal plans, pinned to the top of his Twitter page.

“CES will and must continue,” wrote Shapiro on December 24th LinkedIn post. “It will have a lot more small businesses than big ones. It can have large gaps in the exhibition space. It will certainly be different from previous years. It can be chaotic. But innovation is chaotic. It is risky and inconvenient.”

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant and get up COVID-19 Cases unsettle many. On December 28, the U.S. topped 431,000 new daily cases – far higher than last winter’s pandemic peak on January 8, 2021, when the U.S. topped 294,000 new daily cases. according to CDC.

Here is the growing list of companies that have changed their minds about attending CES, starting with the latest announcements:

  • GfK North America: On December 30th, research company GfK North America announced that it would convert its automotive technology presentation into a virtual event. “GfK is responding to growing employee health concerns and will not be presenting in person at CES 2022 in Las Vegas,” the company said in a press release.
  • Mercedes Benz: The automaker announced on December 29 that it was canceling its physical presence.
  • Panasonic: Panasonic has moved its press conference to a virtual event while maintaining a “modified physical footprint with limited on-site staff,” announced CEO Megan Myungwon Lee on December 29th.
  • Magna: “Magna’s leadership has decided to withdraw from CES 2022 and cancel the January 5th press conference,” a spokesman for the auto parts maker said via email. So is the company tweeted his decision on December 29th.
  • AMD: “After careful consideration, AMD decided to cancel our personal presence at CES 2022 in Las Vegas and instead switch to a virtual experience. While the AMD 2022 product premiere was always planned as a purely digital live stream, our personal engagements are now being switched to virtual in the best interests of the health and safety of our employees, partners and communities, “said AMD in a statement on December 28. The company plans Continue to make its scheduled announcements on January 4th as part of its digital-only plans.
  • OnePlus: The phone manufacturer has only planned an unofficial presence in Las Vegas so far. But CNET confirmed on Dec. 28 that the company is canceling its personal plans anyway. The news was earlier from. reported Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. OnePlus has been rumored to be debuting this OnePlus 10 Pro Telephone at the fair and CEO Pete Lau teased last week on the Weibo social network that the unveiling of the phone will take place in January.
  • Braunschweig: The recreational shipping company announced on December 28 that it had switched its plans to virtual.
  • Microsoft: “The health and well-being of our employees are our top priority. After reviewing the latest data on the rapidly evolving COVID environment, Microsoft has decided not to attend CES 2022 in person, “the company said in a statement emailed late December 24th. Microsoft has announced that it will take part in the show virtually.
  • Google and Waymo: “We have closely watched the development of the omicron variant and decided that this is the best choice for the health and safety of our teams,” said a Google spokesman. Waymo, part of Alphabet, which focuses on self-driving cars, made a similar statement on Dec 23
  • GM: The company does not send employees or executives to the show, Reuters reported CEO Mary Barra will deliver her keynote address online on December 23rd.
  • Intel: The chip maker said it will reduce its presence. “After consulting with health authorities and in the spirit of Intel’s security policy, our plans for CES will shift to a live digital experience with minimal on-site staff,” Intel said on December 23.
  • Lenovo: “After we have closely observed the current COVID environment, it is in the best interests of the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and our communities to stop all activities on site in Las Vegas,” announced the company via Twitter on Dec 23
  • Tick ​​Tack: “With positive COVID-19 cases increasing across the country, TikTok has decided to host a TikTok CES virtual experience for our brands and partners,” the company said on December 22nd.
  • AT&T: “The health and safety of our employees and customers has the highest priority, so we have decided not to attend CES 2022 in person,” said a spokesman on December 22nd.
  • Meta: “Out of caution and concern for our employees, we will not be attending CES in person due to the evolving public health concerns related to COVID-19,” the company said on December 21.
  • Twitter: “The safety and health of our employees and our partners is our top priority. With that in mind, due to the surge in COVID cases across the country last week, we decided to cancel our personal presence at next month’s CES, “the company said on December 21.
  • Amazon and Ring: “Due to the rapidly changing situation and the uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant, we will no longer have an on-site presence at CES,” said Amazon on December 21st. A spokesman for Ring, Amazon’s home security subsidiary, made an identical statement.
  • Pinterest: The company announced its change of plan on December 21st.
  • Nvidia: The company has been “cautious from the start” and will provide a virtual address on January 4th at 8 a.m. PT, a spokesman said on December 21st.
  • T-Mobile: The “vast majority” of his team will not be traveling to Vegas, although the company remains a sponsor. “In making this decision, we are prioritizing the safety of our team and the other participants,” the airline said in a statement on December 21. “The entire T-Mobile team is looking forward to a personal CES 2023, which will hopefully include a keynote on stage in front of a live audience.”

The decisions follow the US having reached the grim milestone of 800,000 COVID-19 deaths Earlier this month, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Several companies will be holding press conferences the day before the show starts, including some that no longer plan to be physically present at the tech show. CNET will stream these live on our main YouTube page and on ours CNET highlights YouTube page as part of our CES 2022 reporting. The current schedule for the press day follows.

CES 2022 Press Day Jan 4th (all times are Pacific Time)

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 noon: John Deere

1 p.m .: Canon

2 p.m .: Ottonomy

3 p.m .: Hyundai

4:00 p.m .: Indy Autonomous Challenge

5 p.m .: Sony

6:30 p.m .: Samsung

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