Facility has returned for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic

San Diego-Sunday is an important day for San Diego. Due to California’s high vaccination rate, the event returns to the San Diego Convention Center for the first time since March 2020.

San Diego Convention Center spokesperson Maren Dougherty said: “This is not only good for our public health, but also good for the economy of our region, allowing us to welcome the return of such an event.”

More than 150 events were cancelled, postponed or launched during the pandemic. The convention center believes that this caused more than 2 billion US dollars in damage to the city.

SPIE Optics and Photonics is the first event to kick off on Sunday-this is one of the 30 events scheduled from August to December.

SPIE CEO Kent Rochford said that in the past few years, an average of 4,000 people participated. This year, before the opening of the fair on Tuesday, there are currently about 1,400 people registered.

He said that about half of the speakers were from overseas and were unable to attend due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, which is a similar situation for foreign students who usually attend.

“This is mainly a face-to-face meeting in China, and we can actually get a pretty good lottery at home,” Rochford said.

Before the re-organization of the event on Sunday, the conference center was an emergency homeless shelter and safe area for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum for more than 15 months.

“Because of this, we feel very capable of resuming events safely and responsibly,” Dougherty said.

The conference center and SPIE staff are hiding indoors. Participants who are fully vaccinated are also required to wear masks, but they are not required.

Before October 1st, anyone participating in an indoor event with more than 5,000 people will need to be fully vaccinated within 72 hours or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

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