Don’t Blame ReedPop for Supercon’s Lax Covid Guidelines, Blame Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis

Don’t Blame ReedPop for Supercon’s Lax Covid Guidelines, Blame Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis
Fans dressed in costume look down on the Florida SuperCon convention floor on June 25, 2015, at the Miami Beach Convention Centre in Miami, Florida. Florida Supercon will run from 24-28 June and will feature Comic Book, Anime, Animation, Video Game, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Pop Culture. (Photo: RHONA WISE/AFP, Getty Images)

Even with the Delta variant throwing lots of plans into question, the autumn entertainment convention scene is seemingly upon the U.S. Events like New York Comic Con, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, Florida Supercon, and more are full speed ahead — and ReedPop, the company behind them, has released health requirements for attending.

ReedPop announced that for NYCC (taking place in person in Manhattan on October 7-10), all guests over 12 will need to provide proof of covid-19 vaccination — anyone under 12 must provide a recent negative test — and face coverings are required at all times. As for ECCC (in Seattle, Washington December 2-5) and C2E2 (in Chicago, Illinois December 10-12), all attendees regardless of age will be required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative covid test. This is great news for folks who’ve wanted to attend an in-person con but had very valid safety concerns.

However, there’s a fourth Reedpop convention happening in autumn, Florida Supercon (September 10-12), and only face coverings will be required — no vaccination. You may be wondering why ReedPop would not provide the same precautions as the other events but it’s not the company’s call. Rather it’s the guidelines set by the state. Local and state governments in New York, Washington, and Illinois are being more strict about vaccinations but Florida — which is seeing surges in covid cases — has made it extremely difficult to require someone to prove they are vaccinated.

Companies like Disney, for instance, require salaried and non-union employees to be vaccinated now but aren’t able to do the same for its theme park visitors (though Disney could likely throw around its considerable weight if it wanted to). Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order against mask mandates also has some school districts convening to discuss going against that order after “5,599 students and 316 employees were either in isolation, having tested positive for covid-19, or in quarantine.”

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, ReedPop president Lance Fensterman said that in the case of one of the company’s other conventions, PAX West, the vaccination requirement was a good thing. “We had a nice spike in ticket sales,” he said. “That tells us people want that layer of security and appreciate that layer of safety.” Which is certainly encouraging and the right attitude. And yet, the fact that in-person conventions are still being held in states where vaccinations not only won’t be, but can’t be, required feels like a miss for a company like ReedPop to step up and be a leader.

Basically, if you feel comfortable going to any of these conventions, just be sure to double-check what each is and isn’t requiring. Click here for the full specifics on NYCC, here for Emerald City, here for C2E2, and here for Florida.