Anime Central 2022 Reverses Mask Policy, No Longer Requires COVID-19 Vaccination or Negative Test
The staff for the Anime Central (ACen) event announced that this year’s convention will no longer require masks, COVID-19 vaccination, or negative COVID-19 tests. Staff claimed that its policies are “based on current CDC Guidelines and align with the requirements of the Donald E. Stephens Conventions Center and state and local health authorities regarding large indoor events.” The convention is still strongly recommending that its attendees wear masks. In addition, attendees must acknowledge if they have symptoms of sickness or have been around others with COVID-19. Staff states that it “will continue to monitor the requirements and guidance from state and local health departments.”
An e-mail sent by and to Anime Central staff suggests that this was a decision made by the Midwest Animation Promotion Society (MAPS) following a “lack of support from the venue” and “last-minute communication.”
The event website also reveals that there will be no refunds or rollovers for badge-holders.
Anime Central previously said on Twitter on April 29 that its COVID-19 safety guidelines would “not change prior to the con.”
Anime Central had previously reminded attendees on May 2 that it would require masks and COVID-19 vaccinations or negative tests.
ANN reached out to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (DESCC) for comment. The convention center replied, “We continue to follow the most current rules sent down by the CDC and IDPH.” The CDC guidelines require wearing masks for areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is marked as “High.” Cook County, where the convention will take place, is marked at a “Medium” community level, though the Illinois Department of Public Health still notes that “school districts and private businesses can continue to require masks at their discretion.”
Voice actors and convention guests Erica Mendez and Lucien Dodge revealed that masks will be required for attendees who wish to see them at the event. The event’s website notes that masks may be mandatory in some areas or at the request of guests.
Anime Central 2022 will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on May 20-22.
Update: Added reply from DESCC, as well as some additional rules from the event website.
Update 2: Added information on CDC guidelines, Cook County’s COVID-19 Community Level, and IDPH masking recommendations for private businesses.
Source: Anime Central