PAX West organizers announced on Tuesday that those planning to attend the in-person event in September will now have to have proof of either a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 test. This new stance on safety precautions comes after the ReedPop organizers said that this year's PAX West would be an in-person event with no required vaccinations or negative tests. A mandatory requirement of wearing masks at the event regardless of vaccination or test status is also still in place.
Kyle Marsden-Kish, the global gaming event director for ReedPop, shared the latest on PAX West this week in a health and safety update shared on the event's site. Marsden-Kish cited "recommendations of state and local public health authorities" as the reasoning for the new policies which will be in affect come September 3rd when PAX West begins.
We're pleased to announce that, in line with the recommendations of state and local public health authorities, we will be implementing a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test requirement for everyone at #PAXWest. Read the full update at: https://t.co/1ZtYPOCQeI pic.twitter.com/hZJkFeRngR— PAX (@pax) July 27, 2021
"Throughout the year, the PAX team has been actively working to support a safe environment for our PAX West visitors," Marsden-Kish said. "We are pleased to announce that, in line with the recommendations of state and local public health authorities, we will be implementing a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test requirement for everyone at PAX West. We appreciate your patience as we worked with our venue and the authorities to create our comprehensive plan."
For those who haven't had to produce proof of these tests or vaccines before, the PAX West statement clarified the requirements to say people would need "proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test." You'll also need a government-issued ID for further verification of these new COVID-19 requirements.
While the recommendations of authorities were mentioned first, the statement also said the organizers would continue to evaluate policies and make changes based on feedback from the community. The community did respond quickly to the initial policies that didn't require proof of vaccinations nor negative tests and reacted with hesitance to the idea of attending the event. Most events of this kind taking place this year are still happening only online, though those that do happen in person often require people to show proof of vaccination. The initial PAX West policies were therefore surprising, though it's less surprising to see them altered now.
No mentions of refunds were made in the updated policies, but the organizers said that if you "have purchased badges and have questions or concerns about this requirement" to reach out via email.