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PAX West mandates vaccinations and negative COVID tests for attendees

PAX West, the popular gaming and pop culture convention, has decided attendees must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

In a move that reverses a previous announcement, those wishing to attend the PAX West convention will be required to provide proof that they are not at risk of spreading COVID-19 to other attendees. This can be done by providing proof of full vaccination or a negative result from a recent COVID-19 test. For specifics, here are the full guidelines.

The fact that they had to walk back their previous position – which was set to rely on face masks, social distancing, fewer attendees, and handwashing – isn’t surprising. This amended position puts them in line with what is rapidly becoming the new standard for putting on an event of any sort.

pax west
Image: PAX West / PAX

Still, if the response to the Foo Fighters’ June 20 show at Madison Square Garden is anything to go by, it appears widespread acceptance of these conditions is still a little ways off.

It should be noted that PAX actually have some history in regards to pandemics, with their 2009 event picking up an unfortunate association with swine flu (AKA the PAX pox). Considering that sorry story, and the cancellation of 2020’s iteration of the event due to COVID-19, you’d think PAX West organisers would have been more cautious than their initial position suggests.

Response on Twitter has been, perhaps surprisingly, quite positive, with the overarching theme being relief that organisers are taking the pandemic seriously. Surprise that this wasn’t their initial opinion is pretty prevalent too.

There are also those that feel this information should have been announced before PAX West tickets went on sale. Unfortunately, the world at large, not just PAX West, are at the mercy of factors outside their direct control. At least this recent announcement demonstrates a willingness to try and meet these challenges head on.