The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) has been postponed "in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron outbreak," according to a statement released on Monday, 20 December, by the international NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The meeting was supposed to be held in Davos, Switzerland between 17-21 January 2022, and is now expected to be held in the summer.
The decision to postpone comes quite abruptly as the WEF had announced late last week on 16 December that it was going to proceed with the meeting that would consist of lectures and panel discussions.
Adrian Monck, a spokesperson for the WEF, wrote in an email announcing the cancellation that "current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting."
"Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary," he added.
This is the second year in a row that the WEF has postponed the annual meeting.
The 2021 meeting, supposed to be held in Singapore, was also postponed before being cancelled altogether.
The World Health Organisation reported over the weekend that Omicron, a "variant of concern," had been detected in 89 countries for the moment.
It also reiterated its concerns about the variant's high transmissibility, stating that the number of cases were doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in locations where community transmission had already begun.