Anime convention, Anime NYC, announced on August 4 that all con-goers must provide proof of their coronavirus vaccination in order to get in the doors. Mask usage is also required for everyone involved.
These regulations include fans, exhibitors, artists, guests, crew, and staff members. Peter Tatara, the founder of Anime NYC, wrote on the site’s news blog that these are current guidelines but may change as time goes on “should vaccinations rise and COVID cases fall…”
Anime NYC is slated to take place at the Javits Center in New York City from November 19 to 21.
Proof of Vaccine
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on August 3 that people must provide proof of vaccination for most indoor events starting August 16. This includes eating at restaurants, working out at a gym, seeing a movie, and now, going to an anime convention.
Enforcement of the mandate will start on September 13, but the police won’t have anything to do with enforcing it. The full details will come later in the month.
Typically, proof of vaccination comes in the form of vaccination cards but New York City also uses the Excelsior Pass, an app that stores a person’s vaccine information, as proof of vaccination.
Lingering Questions for Anime NYC
Peter Tatara wrote in the news post that there will be an update later this month that will answer all of the questions con-goers may have in detail. The questions that will be answered involve children under the age of 12, immunocompromised individuals, and cosplay rules.
Thank you for reaching out. We're working closely with the Javits Center and local NYC government officials, and we'll have further information about masks and vaccines later this week.
— Anime NYC (@animenyc) August 4, 2021
He goes on to say that if some people are uncomfortable or simply don’t like these policies, there will be the option of rollover tickets for next year’s convention.
Last November, Anime NYC Powered by Crunchyroll collaborated with livestream shopping platform NTWRK for an online version of Anime NYC.
Many conventions went the online route last year, but throughout 2021, most of them opened up again to the public. Texas has had a slew of conventions continue as normal and the New York Comic Con is planning on holding an in-person event from October 7-10.
California in particular has seen its conventions continue to be cautious. Anime Expo went online for the second year in a row with Anime Expo Lite. And the largest comic book convention, San Diego Comic-Con, postponed its usual summer event to November.
Social Media Reactions
Reactions on social media are mostly positive and understanding of the convention’s new rules. Most people are happy with the changes and support them while some people disapprove. One notable example is someone who states that they don’t want to give up their rights to go to a convention.
Anime NYC didn't really have a choice about this, but I am so glad that they have chosen to embrace it.
As reported yesterday, this is pretty much mandated by the city of NYC. https://t.co/xJLpMkj2Ja
— Christopher Macdonald (@ANN_Ed) August 4, 2021
At the time of this writing, 57% of New York residents are fully vaccinated, above the national average of 50%. Over 75% of the people have had their first vaccination.
As far as we know, there are no plans to turn the convention digital this year. And to repeat what Peter Tatara said, regulations may change in the future depending on what the vaccination rates will be.