COVID Policies for Otakon 2022

Last Update: July 23, 2022

Otakon 2022: July 29-31, 2022

We want our members to know that we continue to monitor updates from the CDC, the city, as well as our partners in regards to COVID-19.  We'll be keeping this page updated with information as we have it regarding Otakon 2022 convention policies.

Otakon 2022 Vaccine and Mask Policy

In the interest of the safety of all our members, Otakorp will require Otakon 2022 attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (if eligible), or to present a negative Covid PCR test with a sample dated after 6 AM no more than 3 days prior to picking up your badge. Masks will also be required to be worn in all convention areas in the Walter E Washington Convention Center and the Marriott Marquis.

In addition to Otakorp’s policies, Otakorp reminds all members that they are individually responsible for complying with any and all standing policies of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and with any and all laws and ordinances in effect in the City of Washington, DC, including those related to COVID-19. 

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Otakorp is maintaining its current health requirements, but reserves the right to adjust these restrictions closer to the convention if the pandemic situation allows.

Vaccine verification (via vaccine app or physical vaccine card + Photo ID for members over 18) or a negative PCR test report will be required to pick up your badge and verification wristband at Otakon. Your badge and verification wristband will be required in all areas of the convention center for OTAKON 2022.

How will Otakon be checking vaccinations?

This year, Otakon will be using a two-factor authentication system. Otakon will be verifying vaccination status upon check-in and badge pick-up. In addition to your badge, you will receive a wristband verifying that your vaccine or PCR test has been checked.

Members must have both a valid badge and wristband to attend Otakon 2022.

What constitutes “fully vaccinated?”

The CDC defines “fully vaccinated” as:

  • A 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or
  • A single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine).
  • You are considered fully vaccinated on the 14th day after the vaccination series was completed.
  • Booster shots are not required, but strongly recommended.

What if I am not vaccinated?

Members who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must present a negative PCR test with a sample dated after 6 AM no more than 3 days prior to picking up your badge. Antigen and rapid tests will not be accepted. 

I’ve already had Covid. Why do I need to be vaccinated?

For the health and safety of all our members, we are requiring full vaccination for all eligible members as outlined above. Vaccination reinforces and strengthens immunity, and is required to attend Otakon 2022 for all eligible individuals, regardless of previous Covid status.

Can I show a negative COVID test result?

Yes. Although Otakorp requires all eligible individuals be vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 PCR test with a sample dated after 6 AM no more than 3 days prior to picking up your badge will be accepted.

Arriving PCR Test Sample Date NO EARLIER THAN
Thursday, 3PM-10PM Monday, July 25, 2022 6:00 AM
Friday, 8AM-10PM Tuesday, July 26, 2022 6:00 AM
Saturday 8AM-10PM Wednesday, July 27, 2022 6:00 AM
Sunday 8AM-Noon Thursday July 28, 2022 6:00 AM

Do you accept photos of paper cards? How about vaccination apps?

Otakon 2022 will accept official proof of vaccination (paper, photo of paper, or digital) issued by a government, hospital, or pharmacy that legibly shows the following necessary information to verify adherence with CDC standards for being fully vaccinated:

  • Full name matching your photo ID
  • Date of birth
  • Name of vaccine manufacturer
  • Date(s) of vaccination

What about children under the age of 5?

Children under 5 are exempt from the vaccine requirement, however children ages 2-5 must be masked at all times. Children under 2 do not need to be masked. Children over 2 must be masked at all times.

Are masks still required?

A well-fitting mask that covers your mouth and nose will be required inside all convention areas, except for areas designated by signs. We recommend N95 or KN95-style masks. If your cosplay includes a helmet, a mask must still be worn beneath your helmet. Helmets and/or headgear may need to be removed when entering the facility to verify mask compliance.

For more information on acceptable masks, please see: Use and Care of Masks | CDC

What about HIPAA and medical privacy?

Otakorp is not subject to HIPAA regulation, and will not be recording, storing, or maintaining vaccination or exemption records. 

What if I don’t have a photo ID?

All attendees over the age of 13 are required to have a photo ID to receive their badge and wristband. All attendees under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

I am coming from outside the US, I am vaccinated, but with a vaccine other than Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson&Johnson - will you accept these?

If you are coming from outside the US, we will accept the vaccines approved in your country. If you have any questions, please contact us as soon as possible.

I am coming from outside of the US, I am vaccinated, but do not have a physical vaccine card - what do I do?

Those coming from or vaccinated in a foreign country will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. If in questions, please contact us as soon as possible.
Before Convention: Please use the contact us form.
At Convention: Please see member services.

Can I get a refund or rollover?

If you have a concern regarding your Membership and this policy, please send us a message through our Contact Us Form using the topic “Registration Assistance”.

The Verification Process

What should I do before I arrive at the convention?

Make sure you have your proof of vaccination (paper, photo of paper, or digital) safely packed or saved in your mobile phone.  If you are using a PCR test instead, ensure that you are not scheduling your test too early for us to accept or too late for results to be received in time for your arrival at the convention.

What should I do when I arrive at the con?

  • Have your photo ID and proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 PCR test report ready.
  • Get in the Registration line.
  • When you reach a verification volunteer, show your photo ID and proof of vaccination/test report.
  • Receive a verification wristband from the verification volunteer.

I left my badge/wristband at the hotel - Can I get in with just one or the other?

No. Otakon will be using a two-factor authentication system this year. That means you must have both your badge and wristband to attend.

I lost my wristband - Can I get a new one?

Yes! You will need to have your vaccine or negative PCR test verified again at registration to receive a new wristband.

I am a Dealer or Artist - does this still apply to me?

Yes - please contact your respective department for check-in and badge pick-up instructions.

At Con FAQ

I had my badge mailed to me - what do I do when I get to con?

Even with your mailed badge, you still need to verify your vaccine or negative COVID test to get your wristband onsite before entering.  Additional information was already sent via email to mailed badge holders on where they will be verified for their vaccine or negative COVID test. Please check your email for this information.

I pre-registered, but I did not have my badge mailed to me - what do I do when I get to con?

Get in the pre-registration line to pick up our badge and get your vaccine/negative test verified. You will need the following items:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of vaccination (paper, photo of paper, or digital) or Negative COVID-19 PCR test report

Obtain your badge and verification wristband to enter the con.

I did not pre-register and need to buy a full weekend or day membership on site - what do I do when I get to con?

Get in the registration line to purchase your membership and get your vaccine/negative test verified. You will need the following items:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of vaccination (paper, photo of paper, or digital) or Negative COVID-19 PCR test report

Obtain your badge and verification wristband to enter the con.

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.

 

History

  • July 23rd, 2022: Updated Frequenntly Asked Questions
  • July 19th, 2022: Added sample date table to Frequently Asked Questions
  • July 8th, 2022: Updated Frequenntly Asked Questions
  • July 1st, 2022: Updated Frequenntly Asked Questions, information on acceptance of negative tests.
  • March 29th, 2022: Added Frequenntly Asked Questions, information on acceptance of negative tests.
  • March 4th, 2022: Removed reference to DC's requirement that indoor venues verify vaccination status (ended 2/15/2022).  At this time Otakon's vaccination and masks policies have not changed.  
  • January 31st, 2022: Updated with requirement to Vaccination and Mask usage for Otakon 2022
  • December 10th, 2021: Updated page for Otakon 2022.

Useful Links

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