After CES ramps up COVID-19 precautions, what’s your infection risk in 2023?

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:02 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Doctors say attendees’ risk for COVID-19 at CES is “low” if they take proper health measures such as vaccination and masking, just as new federal guidelines will require Chinese travelers to have mandatory virus testing and the Las Vegas convention itself will mandate on-site testing for those visitors.

The international requirements by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for travelers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau notably start on January 5, the first day of the convention in Las Vegas. The CDC states that such testing measures come amid a unprecedented surge of Omicron-offshoot variant cases in China, as the country halted draconian COVID-19 lockdowns and its “zero COVID” policy.

Unlike much of the world, the Chinese population had not experienced mass waves of vaccination and prior infection until now. Some health officials estimate that 40% of the population has been vaccinated, and the only brand allowed by the Chinese government has not proven as effective in preventing severe illness.

Other countries started reinstating testing measures for travelers from Chinese territories, after a flight to Milan showed that half of passengers on a single flight tested positive for COVID-19. The Chinese government has been criticized by U.S. officials for its lack of timeliness and transparency in reporting cases and new variants for world health leaders to monitor.

The U.S. had previously this summer halted COVID-19 testing for all foreign nationals, but kept the vaccine requirement to travel into the U.S.

CES reminded attendees of federal requirements for entry and encouraged vaccination and masking, but implemented the mandatory COVID-19 testing policy for Chinese nationals last week.

“With [Americans], most people are immune due to infection or from vaccination. Given that [this variant is] coming from another country, where it’s just rampant infection, it’s just a matter of time before we see another variant of concern,” said Dr. Christina Madison-- founder of Public Health Pharmacist, and associate professor at Roseman University of Health Sciences.

Back in 2020, the convention was scrutinized for perhaps having some infected attendees coming to the U.S. when COVID-19 first emerged.

What is your COVID-19 risk at CES in 2023? Your risk of infection low if you’ve been fully vaccinated, boosted, and choose to wear a mask, according to Dr. Madison.

“Your risk of getting COVID is lower right now. However, we’re right after the holidays. People have been traveling. So having the ability to do those public health measures: washing your hands, washing down surfaces, making sure that you’re vaccinated, those are just extra precautions,” she said, noting that she will take the advice of CES organizers and mask up.

Due to the surge of flu and RSV infections, Dr. Madison urges anyone who feels ill to stay at home. Testing is also encouraged, after attending CES, she said.

She also encourages all travelers who would like a American-manufactured Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or booster to seek a public vaccination site while they’re in town.

CES released the following COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations to FOX5 on Monday:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that as of Jan. 5, travelers to the US from China, Hong Kong and Macau will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test to their airline before boarding. Given this announcement, CES will also require exhibitors and attendees travelling from China, Macau or Hong Kong and arriving in the US on Jan. 1-4 to provide at CES badge pick up a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the last 48 hours. Those in need of COVID-19 testing upon arrival in Las Vegas can visit the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall and will be administered a COVID 19 antigen test at no cost.

For more information about CES 2023 Health and Safety Protocols please visit

What is CES doing to reduce risks of Covid transmission? CES is implementing a layered approach to health and safety protocols:

· Encouraging all participants to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu before arriving at CES. All international travelers coming to the US are required to be vaccinated.

· Following CDC testing protocols for travelers from China, Macau or Hong Kong.

· Requiring exhibitors and attendees travelling from China, Macau or Hong Kong and arriving in the US on Jan. 1-4 to provide at CES badge pick up a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the last 48 hours.

· Encouraging masking onsite at CES.

· Providing onsite, rapid test kits will be available, and we encourage masking.

· CES 2023 will also be a more touchless experience. In addition to many measures taken at CES 2022, it will have dozens of greeters opening doors and other doors opened to increase outside air flow.

· We want to reduce risks of Covid and flu transmission for CES attendees.