COVID Policies for Otakon 2021

Last Update: August 4th, 2021

Otakon 2021 to take place as scheduled!

We want our members to know that we continue to monitor updates from the CDC as well as our partners in regards to COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout.  We'll be keeping this page updated with information as we have it regarding DC's reopening and Otakon 2021 convention polcies.

Events DC has been working on a Recovery Plan and has put a lot of effort into improvements of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center that enhance sanitation and protect the health of everyone in the facility.

Masks to be required at Otakon 2021

Masks will be required in all convention areas (WEWCC and the Marriott), and vaccination is strongly encouraged for all attendees.

We highly recommend that all eligible people are vaccinated if attending Otakon, but we will not be requiring proof of vaccination for entry. 

We require masks be worn at all times for anyone over the age of 2. Certain exceptions will be made such as:

  • Presenters during panels or workshops while socially distanced
  • While eating or drinking in designated areas
  • For the convenience of having their lips read by a person who is deaf or hard of hearing

This policy is subject to change based on changes to CDC guidelines, local regulations or other data.

CDC Guide to Wearing Masks

CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.  Please see their website for a guide to proper mask usage.

Temperature Checks

If you are showing any symptoms (fever, cough, muscle or body aches, sore throat, runny nose, etc.) we ask that you keep the health and safety of your other con-goers in mind and  avoid coming this year.  If you are able, we highly recommend you get vaccinated for COVID-19.  

As you enter the building, a no contact, real-time, multi-person thermal scanner will read your temperature.  The WEWCC requires you to have a body temperature reading under 100.4°F in order to enter the building.

You will not need to remove your face mask in order for the system to work, but if you are wearing a full face helmet or other covering we may ask you to remove it as you enter.

If your temperature reads above the limit, you will be asked to step aside for a secondary scan.  If that also reads above temp, you will be allowed to sit for 5 minutes and wait for another scan.  After three attempts, if your temperature still reads high you will be asked to leave the building. If you are asked to leave the building, our staff will be available to work with you to address the situation.

The WEWCC has made numerous technology updates to the facility to keep you safe, healthy and protect against COVID-19.  Be sure to check out our Location page that details all the MANY technology upgrades the Center has put in place!

GBAC STARTM facility accreditation means that WEWCC venue staff and partners are implementing the highest standards for cleaning and disinfection of infectious agents like the novel coronavirus. It provides third-party validation that the facilities meet high levels of cleanliness and safety.

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the first GBAC STARTM accredited facility in the District and the first GBAC STARTM accredited convention center in the Mid-Atlantic/ Northeast.

More Information on the WEWCC

We encourage all of our members to continue to stay safe, continue to take precautions (wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands, etc.) and (if you are able) to get vaccinated.

If you are unable to attend and have already pre-registered, please see the Membership Rollover or Refund Request form and make sure you submit before July 13th.


Press Releases from Events DC


  • July 29, 2021: Added DC's indoor mask order
  • July 12, 2021: Added temperature check information
  • June 30, 2021: Added link to Membership Rollover and Refund form
  • June 6, 2021: Added link to CDC Guide to Masks
  • June 3, 2021: Posted mask policy for Otakon 2021
  • May 10, 2021: Updates from Destination DC
  • April 11, 2021: Posted initial page for 2021

DC Reopening Status: Masks Required Indoors regardless of vaccination status.
(effective of July 31, 2021)

Useful Links

The best way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated (and please continue to wash your hands frequently).