Arisia Covid Statement

Please be aware that Arisia reserves the right to permanently ban, at any point in the future, anyone who is found to have lied regarding their COVID vaccination status, at any time in the past.

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November 20, 2021

COVID POLICIES FOR ARISIA 2022

1. Vaccination against COVID-19 is required for all attendees.

  • Who is an attendee?
    • Anyone who is badged in our registration system. Only attendees are allowed to enter Arisia spaces, including panels, events, the Con Suite, etc. Note that non-attendees of Arisia may be staying in the hotel.
  • What about young children?
    • Children who are not vaccinated are not allowed to be badged or enter Arisia spaces. We do not have babysitting (Turtle Track) this year. However, we have opened Fast Track up to 5-year-olds, so long as they are vaccinated.
  • What is an Arisia space?
    • Any event or hotel room space used by Arisia for its convention programming, events, and services. This includes the concourse registration area and all “back-stage” and loading areas that are used for Arisia load in and load out. The lobby, while it may have tables for Info Desk, etc., is not an Arisia space. Note, however, that at the time this is being written, the City of Boston requires masks for all staff and customers over the age of 2 in all indoor establishments that are open to the public. Masks under this policy can only be removed when actively eating or drinking.
  • What vaccination is required?
    • For those residing in the United States:
      • At least two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with the last dose received at least two weeks before con.
      • At least two doses of the Moderna vaccine, with the last dose received at least two weeks before con.
      • At least one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the last dose received at least two weeks before con.
      • Or, for visitors from other countries, an appropriate dose of a vaccine that the CDC accepts for travelers to the US (this includes the AstraZeneca vaccine)
  • What proof will be accepted for vaccination?
    • The CDC card that most people received with their first shot, including your name as it appears in our registration system, the date of your vaccination, and which vaccine you received. (You can use the AKA space when registering if you’d like your badge name to be different from the one that appears on your vaccination card.)
    • A state issued vaccination record, if your state has a vaccination registry, including the above information.
    • An electronic vaccination passport, such as GoodRx Care’s Vaccine Wallet, IBM Health Pass, CommonPass, or Travel Pass, or a state issued vaccination passport, including the above information.
  • How can I present this proof?
    • Starting in December, we will have several Zoom meetings at which you can ask questions about our vaccination policy. You can also pre-check-in for vaccination status only at those meetings. You will meet with a volunteer in a private Zoom room and can show them your documentation with either your computer camera or by sharing your screen. We will also create a DropBox where you can send us an electronic version or picture of your proof of vaccination. This information will be deleted once we have verified your vaccination status. Finally, you can provide your information at con at registration. However we _strongly_ encourage you to pre-check-in!
  • What information will Arisia retain in its records?
    • After checking to make sure that your proof of vaccination is valid under this policy, Arisia will not retain any information other than the fact that you are fully vaccinated.

2. Masks are required in all Arisia spaces except for the Con Suite.

  • What kind of mask do I need to wear?
    • Attendees must wear masks that cover both their nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of their face with no gaps. Face shields can be worn, but must be in addition to, not instead of a regular mask. If you have any questions about the kind of masks that must be worn, please email safety@ or ask a Safety Team staff member.What if I need to drink water?
    • You can shift your mask off of your mouth in order to drink from a bottle or a cup with a lid, but unless you are actively drinking, your mask should cover your mouth. If your water bottle is in your hand, but you are not actively drinking from it, your mask should remain on.
    • What if I need to eat for medical reasons? If you are eating something small (such as medication, cough drops, hard candy, or similar), you can follow the same guidelines as above for water bottles. If you need to remove your mask entirely, or for an extended time, in order to eat, we ask that you step outside of the Arisia space to do so.
  • Where is the con suite?
    • The Con Suite is in Grand Ballroom C & D, off of the Concourse near registration, rather than its usual location in Galleria near the Dealers Room. There is no food in the Green Room or the Staff Den.
  • Are there any exceptions?
    • If you are a performer in a stage event, and have received prior permission from the Events Team, you may be permitted to go without a mask while on stage. The audience will be socially distanced from performers who are not wearing masks. In the Dealers Room, we will close the room to attendees during certain hours (around lunchtime) so that vendors have the opportunity to eat and drink. They can remove their masks while doing so, as long as they remain socially distanced. These are the only exceptions to our mask policy.

3. Hand Sanitizer is required upon entry and exit of some Arisia spaces.

  • Which Arisia spaces require hand sanitizer?
    • The Art Show, the Dealers Room, Gaming, Video Gaming, the Minecraft LAN room, the Con Suite, Fast Track, and all events in the Grand Ballrooms or in Commonwealth.

4. What should I do if I have symptoms or believe I may have been exposed to COVID-19?

  • If you are local, and not staying in the hotel, we would ask that you remain at home until you are able to have a COVID test. If you are staying in the hotel, we would ask that you remain in your room. If you need a COVID test, you can contact our Safety Team.

5. What should I do if I see someone not wearing a mask or not using hand sanitizer as required by this policy?

  • Reach out to our Safety Team by: asking any staff member to do so, calling or texting [phone number to be added prior to con], emailing safety@arisia.org, or reaching out via Discord in the Safety channel.

6. Parties at Arisia

  • Open parties in hotel rooms should follow the same rules as Arisia spaces. All party-goers must be vaccinated. Masks must be worn at all times, which means no food and drink outside of the limitations above. We encourage folks to be creative with their planning! For example, beverages in bottles can be consumed in the same way that water bottles can be used, without removing a mask entirely, but only while actively drinking. Food can be provided, but taken to private spaces to eat.
  • Closed parties need not follow Arisia rules for mask wearing, but signage must be clearly posted that the party is a closed party, by invitation only, and that Arisia COVID policies do not apply in that space. In general, doors to closed parties should remain closed unless someone is entering or leaving. Those throwing closed parties are responsible for ensuring that their guests are only those who are invited and have consented to being in a space where Arisia COVID policies are not enforced.

Westin Hotel's HVAC System Details

November 20, 2021

  • Guest Rooms:  Each room has its own HVAC system. In addition, each room has a fresh outside air supply in their rooms along with an exhaust vent in each bathroom.
  • Meeting Space:  All HVAC units go through a strict PM program 4 times per year. They each have a dual filtration system. Each unit has fresh air supply and a return fan to exhaust.

Fast Track and COVID

November 8, 2021

For an update about Fast Track and COVID, please see this page,


Update from the Con Chair Team re: Arisia 2022 and COVID-19

September 18, 2021

Please note that all badged attendees of Arisia 2022 must provide proof of vaccination to be admitted to the convention.  Proof of vaccination can be shown with a vaccination card that indicates you have received the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  If you have received a different vaccine, or do not have a card, please reach out to our team at @email.  We remain hopeful that vaccines will be available for children under 12 before the convention in January.  However, if they are not, and the current increasing rate of COVID-19 in that age range continues, we may have to require that parents do not bring their unvaccinated children to Arisia.  We are reaching out to medical professionals for advice on this subject and will update the community on this policy as we know more.  Arisia's COVID-19 policy will change, as necessary, in the months before the convention as we receive new guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts.  We will keep the community up-to-date as those changes occur.  If you have any questions about our COVID-19 policy, please reach out to @email or contact us through our website.​


Initial COVID Statement

August 3, 2021

Last Arisia, we ran a virtual convention to protect the health of our community during the pandemic.  Now, as many of us are fully vaccinated, we are looking forward to a return to in-person events.  What does this mean for Arisia 2022?

ARISIA 2022 WILL BE AN IN-PERSON CONVENTION AT THE WESTIN WATERFRONT IN BOSTON

We will return to the Westin Waterfront for an in-person convention in as safe and responsible a way as we can. We hope to offer our full slate of programming, including events, music, gaming, dances, art show, dealer’s room, and more.  We are aware, however, that gatherings are a risk for the spread of COVID-19.  We are taking a number of steps to mitigate that risk.

ARISIA 2022 MEMBERS MUST BE VACCINATED TO ATTEND IN-PERSON

In-person attendees to Arisia 2022 will be required to sign a statement that they have been fully vaccinated. Failure to be truthful on this statement is a violation of Arisia’s Code of Conduct.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IF I AM FULLY VACCINATED?

Those Arisia attendees who are fully vaccinated will be able to enjoy the full convention, but will still be required to take safety precautions, such as wearing masks and using hand sanitizer.  We will not know until closer to January what those exact precautions will be, but we will be listening closely to CDC and state guidance. We will keep you updated throughout the year as we put together more detailed guidelines.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IF I AM NOT FULLY VACCINATED BY JANUARY OF 2022?

Your participation in Arisia 2022 will be substantially limited if you are not fully vaccinated. That said, we would like to be as accessible as possible to those who cannot get vaccinated due to, for example, health reasons.  We are planning what remote content we will be able to offer, and will keep you updated.

WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN UNDER 12?

By the time the convention takes place, we are hopeful that vaccines will be available for younger children. We should know by the fall whether or not we will have Fast Track this year.  We will also be considering how and whether we can offer Turtle Track safely.

WHAT ABOUT BOOSTERS?

There are many things that we don’t know yet, such as whether a booster shot will be required for full immunization sometime between now and January 2022.  We will keep in touch with the community as things change, and try to make decisions in a timely and thoughtful way.  Our goal is for everyone to participate in the convention as safely as possible.

WILL THERE BE VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING?

We are not planning to run a fully hybrid convention, as we do not have the resources to do this. That said, there may be some online participation in the convention, such as streaming of certain events, or an online social area similar to what we had for Arisia 2021.  We will keep you updated on this as we make plans.

MORE QUESTIONS?

Please reach out if you have specific questions that are not answered here.  You can email the con chair team at through our website's Contact Us page (select "ConChair").  Keep in mind that our plans will change as the situation changes and that new guidance from the CDC will be considered as it is released.  Thank you!

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