Pokemon Drops Vaccine Requirement for World Championships

The Pokemon Company has updated its live event guidelines and has dropped its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for attending and participating in all future live competitive events. Earlier this week, The Pokemon Company updated its COVID-19 protocols ahead of its upcoming Pokemon World Championships in London. Most notably, The Pokemon Company has removed a requirement for all attendees of its events to show proof of vaccination for entry purposes. Other guidelines, including social distancing and mask requirements will remain in place moving forward. These COVID-19 guidelines will impact both premier events like the regional championships and local events held at game stores. 

In a FAQ section of its COVID-19 policy, The Pokemon Company explained why it was no longer having a vaccine requirement. "While we strongly recommend that all attendees, volunteers, and organizers continue to follow the protocols issued by appropriate health agencies with regards to vaccinations, a number of factors, including increasing vaccination rates and changes to local laws, have led us to making this change," the statement read. "The safety and well-being of our community remains our top priority. Venue engineering requirements, masking, social distancing, and hand/surface sanitation will remain in place as part of our efforts to prevent COVID-19 spread during our events." 

Many organizations are debating whether to keep COVID-19 vaccine requirements and mask mandates in place or drop them due to changes in local regulations and increased relaxing of pandemic rules, despite the continued danger of COVID-19 and its continued spread and mutation around the world. San Diego Comic-Con announced it will continue to require masks and either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend, while Emerald City Comic-Con recently announced that it would not require a COVID-19 vaccine or negative test to attend. Emerald City Comic-Con "encouraged" attendees to wear masks, but noted that they might not be required at all places in the convention. 

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The Pokemon World Championships are set to take place August 18-21 in London.