Anime Expo no longer requires proof of vaccination for guests

A photo shows attendees entering the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2016.

This scene from Anime Expo 2017 shows the ground getting quite dense.
Photo: Fox Garr (Getty Images)

Today, Anime Expo, the “largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America” announced an update to its covid health and safety protocols that disappointed many voice actors, cosplayers and artists.

In a tweet, Anime Expo said that while face coverings are required for all attendees inside the Los Angeles Anime Convention, it will no longer require people to provide proof of vaccinations or negative test results at the event. ‘hall. The Expo’s health and safety page states that all attendees, whether “exhibitors, artists, vendors, guests, staff, press, industry, volunteers or cosplayers” are required to “wear a face covering , regardless of their vaccination status” and that “face coverings should fit snugly and properly, fully covering your nose and mouth, and secure under your chin.

Read more: One of the first cases of Omicron in the United States attended an anime convention with 53,000 people

With the precedent of Anime NYC 2021, a convention that drew over 53,000 fans, being the site of one of the first instances of omicron variants in the United States and the current increased omicron variants Across the country, voice actors, artists, and cosplayers expressed their displeasure with Anime Expo’s updated health policy in a series of replies and quote retweets.

Zeno Robinson, known for his voice acting for Hawks in the anime My hero academia, tweeted a response asking Anime Expo to reconsider their policy, adding that one of their peers contracted covid at the last conventions they attended.

“With a scam as big as yours (arguably the biggest in the country), people will get it if they attend, especially if you’re not strict on policies,” Robinson tweeted. “Please reconsider.”

“Incredibly disturbing and horrifying news,” the cosplayer tweeted. VampyBitme. “Blood at the hands of greed. Upsetting is an understatement.

Xiao Tong, creator of the webcomic Countdown to countdown, expressed frustration with the convention gathering performers “in a hot basement to the point of passing out” at previous conventions and highlighted frustration with performers now having to deal with “potentially unvaccinated people” this year as well.

“You treat your guests and artists like cattle, it’s insane. It is REALLY inevitable that one day something serious will happen to someone’s well-being. But hopefully it’s worth it if it means someone up there manages to pocket a few more bucks,” she tweeted.

Illustrator Techycutie and voice actor and VTuber AmaLee raised concerns in a response to Anime Expo’s tweet, asking if the convention plans to issue full refunds to attendees and performers due to its policy update taking place a month before the convention.

“So you are going to lock people in who paid over a thousand dollars in hotel, flight, badges combined to come to an event they probably get Covid from or decide to lose all that money because of non-refundable reservations so close to the convention ? Techycutie tweeted.

Mica Burton, cosplayer and co-host of the Critical Role talk show CritterHugtweeted that it would be hard for him to trust Anime Expo if that was how business was going.

“This is a horrible display of negligence and seriously casts a shadow over the management of this convention,” Burton tweeted.

Kotaku has contacted Anime Expo for comment.

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