San Diego Comic-Con Implements Mandatory Mask Mandate and Health Pass Screenings

San Diego Comic-Con Implements Mandatory Mask Mandate and Health Pass Screenings
Masked cosplayers at last year's New York Comic-Con. (Photo: Michael M. Santiago, Getty Images)

Globally we are in the midst of the sixth wave of the COVID epidemic, and with visitors to San Diego Comic-Con International coming from all over the world for the latest in pop culture, the convention has underlined its safety protocols for attendees.

All convention-goers must provide verification of at least two doses of the vaccine or proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours. Additionally, a mandatory mask mandate has been implemented, stating that during SDCC “face coverings should completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of the face, and not have any gaps.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “as of Monday, the California COVID Assessment Tool, published by the state Department of Public Health, said the spread of the coronavirus is likely increasing, with every infected Californian likely spreading it to 1.15 other people.” So it’s important to consider the size of the convention gathering, as cases in the state are on the rise even if lower numbers are being reported though systems in place that don’t include at-home tests, which aren’t being accounted for. “When you look at the [coronavirus] case counts, they’re no longer reliable. There are tremendous undercounts,” Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine, told the Los Angeles Times. “And the number of cases now probably is not all that dissimilar to what we saw during the massive surge in December and January.”

If you’re attending SDCC later this week, you can get the covid status verification process started by downloading CLEAR:

SDCC’s FAQ also mentions requirements for unvaccinated attendees: “adults and children aged 5 and older who are not fully vaccinated, a recent negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained. All COVID-19 tests must be done by a certified lab, clinic, or physician. A negative test result must show the specimen was collected within 72 hours.” Additionally, “both PCR and antigen are acceptable as long as testing is conducted within the time frame.”

SDCC notes that it will be enforcing these rules and will have the power to kick anyone out who does not follow them. May’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, and Anime Expo, held earlier this month in Los Angeles, had similar rules in place.

Here are the covid verification wristbanding locations:

Screenshot: Comic-Con InternationalScreenshot: Comic-Con International
Screenshot: Comic-Con InternationalScreenshot: Comic-Con International

San Diego Comic Con International kicks off with preview night on Wednesday, July 20, and ends Sunday, July 24.

Want more Gizmodo news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.