Otakon 2021 Will Require Masks But Will Not Require Proof of Vaccination (Updated)
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
The staff of the Otakon convention confirmed on Friday that the in-person Otakon 2021 event will require masks in most settings, but will not require proof of vaccinations for attendees. Otakorp stressed it "highly recommends all eligible individuals are vaccinated if attending."
The event will require masks be worn at all times for anyone over the age of two, except in certain situations: while eating or drinking in designated areas, for the convenience of having a person's lips read for those deaf or hard of hearing, cosplayers while photos are being taken while socially distanced, and presenters during panels while socially distanced.
Otakorp said the policies are subject to change.
The company also outlined other COVID-19 safety protocols, including the convention center's technology updates.
Otakorp will host the event on August 6-8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. The staff said that Otakon will be the "first major convention event to be held as D.C. reopens."
The event will not have any international guests this year due to travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine requirements. The staff stated other possible changes may include shortened hours, and some high-traffic events such as the Otakon Dance might not be held. Otakorp previously stated, "Otakon is dedicated to the safety of its membership and will be following any CDC and local guidelines that may still be in effect at the time of the convention."
The event raised more than US$34,000 in donations as of March, after requesting donations for the first time in January. The request in January noted at the time that the event may "potentially close" permanently. Because of the cancellation of Otakon 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization was in a "precarious position."
Last year's canceled Otakon was originally scheduled for July 31 to August 2 at the same convention center. Otakon held the Otakon Online virtual event on August 1.
Update: Otakorp told ANN that it will have an answer regarding if a refund is possible for those who have had tickets roll over from previous years but want a refund based on the vaccination policy after its next meeting on June 19.
Source: Press release
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history