The GSMA reached agreement with Spanish authorities to exempt those attending MWC Barcelona 2021 from entry restrictions currently imposed on the majority of people arriving from outside the European Union (EU).
In a statement, the industry association said the Ministry of the Interior of the Government of Spain would allow exhibitors, attendees, sponsors and partners to enter the nation for the in-person event.
It noted although there was currently a denial of entry policy for travellers from outside the EU, this was being waived for specific groups including highly qualified workers, with MWC Barcelona attendees to be included in this category.
The GSMA explained the MWC Barcelona registration process had been adapted to reflect the new arrangement. Attendees from outside the EU and Schengen Area will have to register online as normal, with their details then shared with authorities.
Any individuals coming from a country deemed by Spain as being high risk could still be denied entry as they will be unable to use the waiver.
GSMA Ltd CEO John Hoffman said: “The health and safety of everyone involved in MWC Barcelona, both in Spain and beyond, continues to be our utmost priority as we navigate rapidly shifting circumstances. This decision is a resounding vote of confidence in the careful planning undertaken to date, and our strong partnership with the Host City Parties.”
The latest update follows the publication of the organisation’s health and safety plan for the event in March.
Under its Committed Community plan, devised in partnership with Catalan health authorities, attendees must undergo frequent testing with resources provided onsite and use the myMWC app, which has a range of features to aid health and safety efforts.
Other changes to the regular event format include: touchless environments; revamped catering; occupancy monitoring; one-way traffic flows; upgrades to facility infrastructure; and increased medical staff numbers.
MWC Barcelona 2021 is set to take place from 28 June to 1 July. The event will be a hybrid format of physical and virtual elements.