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World Economic Forum postpones Davos because of Omicron | Economic and business news

The World Economic Forum has postponed its annual meeting in Davos for the second time in a row.

Through Bloomberg

Published on Dec 20, 2021

The World Economic Forum has postponed its annual meeting in Davos next month, which was thwarted for a second year by the new waves of coronavirus in Switzerland and around the world.

After the forum intended to hold the meeting on January 17-21, the forum said in a statement that “ongoing uncertainty” about the Omicron variant had forced a rethink and was now planning to hold the meeting in early summer.

“Current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to hold a global face-to-face meeting,” it said. “Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the portability of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have necessitated a postponement.”

Just last week, WEF representatives expressed their confidence that they can host the conference as Switzerland is open to international travel and regular tests are carried out.

But the advent of the r -idly expanding Omicron meant that those plans were in jeopardy.

From Monday, Switzerland tightened the restrictions to contain infections and protect the health system. It reintroduced a requirement to work from home and excluded the unvaccinated from much of public life.

With a population of around 8.5 million, Switzerland reported around 160,000 coronavirus cases this month. The government has called on the armed forces to assist hospitals with patient care, transportation and vaccinations.

The situation means that for the second consecutive January, the pandemic defeated the WEF’s ability to host the meeting of executives, bankers, academics and policy makers it has convened in the Swiss Alps for five decades.

In normal times, around 3,000 attended the combination of debates and cocktail parties, with many more joining on the sidelines.

When they last met in January 2020, the world was just beginning to adjust to the risks of COVID-19. Weeks later, much of the world economy was cordoned off.

Jamie Dimon, Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a regular in Davos, joked in February 2020 that he “has this nightmare, that all of us who went there somehow got it in Davos, and then we are everyone went and spread it. The only good news of this is that it may have only killed the elite. “

After the WEF had initially hoped to be able to return to Davos in January 2021, it announced that it would host this year’s annual meeting in the Swiss city of Lucerne and then in Sing -ore. The virus meant neither had h -pened.

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