Tens of thousands expected in Lisbon for November's Web Summit

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LISBON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Around 40,000 people from around the world are expected to attend Europe's biggest technology conference, the Web Summit, in Lisbon in November, after the event was held online last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said on Tuesday.

"Earlier this year it was unclear if the Web Summit was going to take place at all," Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave told a news conference. "But as we began to see events take place in Europe, we felt that we could commit."

Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira said the return of the event was "excellent news" and would help the country's ravaged tourism sector, which before the pandemic contributed around 15% to Portugal's economy.

Cosgrave said organisers were working with Portuguese authorities to ensure the event follows all health protocols. Attendees must show a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test.

According to Cosgrave, the Web Summit is set to be the "largest business conference in the world" this year, with over 1,000 speakers and 1,250 startups lined up to attend the event on Nov. 1-4.

The announcement came a few days after Portugal, one of the world's most vaccinated nations with around 85% of its population fully inoculated, announced it would lift almost all remaining COVID-19 restrictions from Oct. 1.

Portugal reported a four-month low of 230 new cases on Monday and one death, bringing total cases to 1,067,175 and the death toll to 17,955. (Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Giles Elgood)

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