COVID-19 Policies for Arisia 2023

ARISIA 2023 WILL BE AN IN-PERSON CONVENTION AT THE WESTIN BOSTON SEAPORT DISTRICT HOTEL.

We will return to the (renamed) Westin 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 that gatherings are a risk for the spread of COVID-19. We are taking steps to mitigate that risk. All attendees should be aware that coming to Arisia 2023 does carry some risk of contracting COVID-19; safety precautions are imperfect, and the hotel space is open to the public. It is unlikely that Arisia will be able to prevent all spread of COVID-19 at this event and attendees agree to assume that risk.

The following policies apply in Arisia spaces, which will be marked by signage, and closable doors. Arisia takes place within the Westin hotel and cannot mandate policy for hotel spaces. If you are uncertain which spaces are which, check with Safety.

VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

Arisia will be following CDC recommendations regarding what constitutes being up to date for COVID vaccinations. As of October 2022 the CDC guidance states that a person is up to date if they have received a primary vaccination series and the most recent booster recommended by the CDC. Bivalent boosters are available for anyone age 5 and over. Children under age 5 are currently only eligible for the monovalent booster. This information is available here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html

Arisia 2023 attendees will be required to present proof of vaccination to attend.  For information on how to submit your vaccination record, please visit the vaccination verification page.  Doing so online, will speed up the process of picking up your badge at the convention.

You will not be able to participate in Arisia 2023 in person if you are not vaccinated. Forging proof of vaccination will be considered a Code of Conduct violation. If Arisia is able to stream any of our panels or events you will be able to view those programs.

MASK REQUIREMENTS

All attendees will be required to wear masks without an exhalation vent in all convention spaces except for the designated eating space and certain designated events. Arisia strongly encourages attendees to use N95, KN95, KF94 masks or better. A minimum of a surgical mask is required, as cloth masks do not provide adequate protection. Costume masks may be worn over functional masks. Safety staff may ask individuals wearing costumes over their functional masks to confirm that the mask is being worn properly.

EVENTS & MASQUERADE

Event performers, including announcers and emcees, may be unmasked while on stage, as long as all other performers on stage agree beforehand to allow unmasking. Support staff (e.g. stage crew, stair guides) must remain masked. Panelists and workshop leaders must remain masked while participating in their panel and workshop sessions.

Masquerade participants should remain masked while offstage, including while getting into costumes, waiting in line, etc. The post-Masq photography area is considered a stage and people being photographed may be unmasked, so long as all members of a group on the photography 'stage' at the same time agree to the unmasking. Photographers, and any handlers or helpers not in frame, should remain masked at all times. It is the responsibility of attendees and others to maintain a safe distance from unmasked costumers in this area.

The front rows of audience seating for large events will be moved further from the stage than is normal in order to ensure proper distancing. Please do not bring food into events.

PARTIES

Open parties may serve food+drink and permit unmasking in party space if and only if:

  1. The party is advertised as a “food” or “mask optional” event in the spaces where parties are advertised, including the Party Board, elevator lobbies, and signage posted throughout the convention.
  2. A visible professional-quality sign is posted outside the party space reminding attendees of the masking rules for that party. The language of the signage must be clear and direct. Attempts to evade these rules, or serving food+drink at a party that has not previously advertised rules stating so, will be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.

Closed parties must disclose their masking rules on their invitations or directly to invited attendees prior to invitees entering the party space. Closed parties may not advertise publicly, as described in the Arisia Party Host Rules.

EATING AT THE CON

Attendees are permitted to briefly remove masks in convention spaces for sips of drinks, to take medication, or to pop in a cough drop or hard candy. When drinking in convention spaces, attendees must replace the mask between sips. Arisia 2023 will have a designated mask-off eating and drinking space for attendees. Tables will be spaced out to allow for social distancing. Hotel restaurants will also be available; however, those are open to the public and we cannot guarantee that everyone in them will be vaccinated. Attendees are welcome to bring takeout from restaurants into the Arisia-designated eating space.

TESTING RECOMMENDATIONS

Arisia strongly encourages attendees to test before traveling to the convention and to rapid test daily during the convention. Attendees who test positive before the convention or are showing symptoms should stay home. A list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Individuals living with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 less than 7 days before the convention should stay home, even if they are currently testing negative. Arrangements can be made with registration (@email) to roll over registrations to 2024 and the hotel will allow cancellations with no penalty up to 72 hours before the event.

If you have had COVID symptoms in the recent past, you should have two negative rapid tests, 36 hours apart, to consider yourself no longer a risk to others.

Attendees who test positive, present symptoms, or become unwell during the event must cease attending convention activities and quarantine either at home or in their hotel rooms. They should also report a positive test to the Arisia safety team (@email ). We encourage attendees to test several times in the 10 days following the event and to notify the Arisia safety team if any of those tests are positive.

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

Arisia strongly recommends that all attendees who are eligible get a flu vaccination at least two weeks before the convention. We also encourage frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Arisia will have hand sanitizer stations throughout the convention and the hotel will be sanitizing surfaces.