(Reuters) – Advanced Micro Devices, Micro-Star International Co and Procter & Gamble Co are the latest companies to withdraw from attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in person next month as Omicron cases surge.
The rapid spread of the new coronavirus variant has forced individuals and companies across the United States to rethink their travels plans as they look to lessen the risk of contracting the virus.
Airlines such as Delta Air Lines and Alaska Air Group have canceled hundreds of flights, while the surge in new infections has also threatened to derail a recovery in the cruise industry.
CES, which serves as an annual showcase of new trends and gadgets in the technology industry, is expected to have more than 2,200 in-person exhibitors this year at Las Vegas.
The event, starting Jan. 5, will require all attendees to be masked and vaccinated, and also offer COVID-19 tests, a spokesperson for Consumer Technology Association, the event organizer, said.
“Our in-person engagements will now transition to virtual in the best interest of the health and safety of our employees, partners, and communities,” an spokesperson for chip designer AMD said.
Several others, including U.S. automaker General Motors Co, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Twitter Inc, Lenovo Group, AT&T Inc and Amazon.com Inc have dropped their in-person attendance plans, saying they would not send employees out of caution over the spread of Omicron.
The average number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen 55% to over 205,000 per day over the last seven days, according to a Reuters tally.
(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)