COVID-19 POLICY – NEKOCON 2021

COVID-19 POLICY – NEKOCON 2021 

COVID-19 POLICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME TO COMPLY WITH LOCAL, STATE, OR  FEDERAL HEALTH GUIDELINES, AND/OR TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF OUR STAFF AND  ATTENDEES. PLEASE CONTINUE TO CHECK BACK FOR UPDATED POLICES. 

To attend NekoCon, everyone age seven and up, is required to provide:

1. Proof of a valid COVID-19 Vaccination Card (with both vaccinations or single J&J vaccine – with the final vaccine dose administered prior to October 22nd, 2021 to ensure vaccine efficacy)

OR

2. Paperwork showing a negative COVID-19 test for the registrant that is no more than 3 days (72 hours) old. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will still need to bring proof of a negative covid test. *Rapid and PCR covid tests are available at many locations. Please contact your local health department or other medical provider for information on testing. NekoCon is unable to provide information about testing locations. *The only HOME tests we are accepting are the FDA approved BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test and Ellume COVID-19 Home Test with the medical oversight provided
by those tests.

A photocopy is sufficient at this time, however your name must be visible and match your legal ID. *Do not email or scan copies to the con, you must bring them with you when you pick up your badge.

YOUR VACCINATION CARD OR NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS MUST MATCH YOUR LEGAL ID with the exception of minors who do not have identification cards – if this is the case a school ID or a parent/guardians (in person) confirmation of identity will suffice. Please remember that neither Nekocon nor the HRCC are responsible for minors. Children 12 and under should always be accompanied by an adult. Children 13 and older who do not have legal identification should be accompanied by an adult. Parents or guardians are required to ensure that their children follow all Nekocon and HRCC policies. 

The above policies apply to EVERYONE (attendees, staff, contractors, exhibitors, artists, etc.) No exemptions.  (Please remember that Nekocon is not a HIPAA entity and therefore your disclosure of vaccination covid-testing status is voluntary. If you choose not to disclose, you will be denied entry to NekoCon event spaces.) If you have a valid medical exemption, or any other questions or concerns, please email chair@nekocon.com for further information.

Masks are required inside all convention spaces and must be worn over the nose and mouth (except for brief periods for actively eating or drinking) for everyone age 2 and older per CDC recommendations and updated Virginia Department of Health recommendations based on rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the area. No mesh masks, or masks with holes. No full plastic (must have fabric edges) masks. No masks with exhalation valves. *At this time, face shields are only permitted to be worn by those who medically cannot wear a mask, per CDC recommendations (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html#recent-studies)

Social distancing (6-feet between parties) is encouraged whenever possible. Please remember to wash your hands frequently. Sanitizer will be available around the convention center.

Rooms may have reduced occupancy, including Exhibits, Artist Alley, Panels, and Events. Rooms may also require additional time between panels and events for sanitizing. Some rooms may also have floor arrows to reduce congestion in high traffic areas – please follow this recommended flow of traffic whenever possible. Please pay attention to any signage throughout the convention center for additional safety protocols for certain areas.

As always – only food bought and sold inside the HRCC can be consumed in the HRCC. For added precaution this year, food may only be consumed in the concessions area of Hall B or the vending areas. *Staff/Exhibitors/Artists/Contractors may eat at their table location or in designated staff areas if they are unable to leave their stations for a break, however they must pull their mask back up if/when approached by an attendee.

Respect the wishes of everyone at the convention – If someone asks you to pull up your mask or give them some space please do so. Do not harass anyone wearing a mask. Do not harass anyone not wearing a mask. Please find your nearest con-safety staffer (staff are identifiable by their vertically aligned badges) so they may address any issues or concerns. Anyone in violation, especially repeated violations, of COVID-19 protocols, or any convention policies, may be subject to expulsion from the event without refund.

Additional Information For Your Convenience

Guests
Guests may pull their masks down upon request if they are comfortable (and with the attendees permission), for the duration of photos only, during their slotted autographs times in the Bazaar or at their tables in the Exhibit Hall. The guest and attendee must remain six feet away from others if the guest chooses to remove their mask for the duration of a photo. Some guests will not remove their masks and signage will be posted at their table if this is the case. Attendees are not to remove their masks. Please do not touch guests without their permission.

Main Events
Guests, cosplayers, and others will be permitted to remove their masks if they choose when they are on stage in main events. We will also be using disposable mic covers and sanitizing microphones between speakers/performers.

Panelists
Panelists/Guests will be allowed to wear face shields for the duration of their panel only. The panelists must provide their own face shields if they choose to wear one for their panel (see Karaoke for exception). If the panelist does not choose to wear a face shield they provided, they must wear their mask. We will be using disposable mic covers and sanitizing microphones between speakers/performers.

Dances
Masks are still required during the dances, however if it impedes your breathing you should step away and take a break to remove the mask at a safe distance (at least 20ft) from others until you are able to put it back on. (Please do not pass out!)

Karaoke
Disposable face shields will be provided to karaoke participants for use during their performance, if they choose to use them (otherwise you must wear your mask). We will be using disposable mic covers and sanitizing between performers and the room layout will provide safe distance between performers and attendees.

Maid Cafe/Host Club
Masks will be required at the Maid Café/Host Club until you have been seated and served. The maids and hosts will be wearing masks throughout both table and picture services, please do not ask them to remove their masks.

Photoshoots
Masks must remain on while inside the building for photos. For photoshoots organized by Nekocon that take place outdoors, we recommend masks and social distancing when possible. However, the photoshoot coordinator will not enforce precautions outside of the venue so your participation and safety protocols are for you to decide. Please do not ask the staff or coordinator to ask someone to put their mask on during a group photo outdoors.

Mascots
The mascots would love to take photos with you but will be keeping their masks on. Please respect their personal space and do not touch them without permission.

Cosplay
If your costume requires a full head covering of any kind, you must still wear a Covid-19 appropriate mask underneath. For example – inflatable t-rex costumes, motorcycle helmets, or fursuit heads are not considered covid appropriate ‘masks.’ **See the Cosplay Policies for any additional information about when/where full head coverings can be worn.

Updated 9/21/2021