COVID-19 Policy & FAQ
Bay Area Brony Spectacular
(Updated January 27, 2023: Adjusted guidance and relaxed verification requirements)
- Masks & Social Distancing
- Definition of “Fully Vaccinated”
- Proof of Vaccination
a. Where to Get Digital Vaccine Certificates
b. Other Proofs of Vaccination
- Medical Exception
Due to the ongoing pandemic, and the rise of more contagious strains like the Delta and Omicron variants, the BABSCon Staff will do everything we can to protect the health and safety of everyone at our convention. To this end, we will be requiring masking and proof of full vaccination from everyone in attendance for BABSCon 2023.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this policy or how it affects your attendance at BABSCon 2023. Also, be aware that this policy is liable to change to reflect prevailing pandemic conditions. We’ll do our best to announce changes, but please check back as the BABSCon 2023 approaches.
Masks and Social Distancing
Everyone at BABSCon 2023 will be required to wear a mask that fully covers the nose and mouth at all times except while eating, drinking, or being on stage as part of a panel or performance (though they may naturally still wear masks on stage if they choose to). Medical-grade (i.e. N95) masks are preferred, but surgical or cloth masks are acceptable. Gaiters are not acceptable. Respirators that only filter incoming air—releasing outgoing air unfiltered—are also not acceptable.
Please maintain a six-foot distance from others not in your “bubble” where possible, or maximize distance when six feet is not feasible.
Anyone who has received an initial course of vaccinations using an approved vaccine—Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen—plus a booster shot by March 31, 2023 is considered fully vaccinated.
Anyone who has finished their initial course of vaccines but is not yet eligible for a booster is considered fully vaccinated. That means 1 shot of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen after Feb 7, 2023 or 2 shots of the others after Feb 7, 2023. If your initial course was administered before those dates, you must get a booster shot before March 31, 2023.
If booster shots are not available in your country as of March 15, 2023, then the 2 shots of Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Oxford/AstraZeneca, or 1 shot of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson will be sufficient to consider you fully vaccinated.
We’re very sorry, but we will not accept the Sinopharm/Sinovac, or Sputnik V vaccines due to not being authorized for use in the United States.
If you have any questions about whether or not you qualify as fully vaccinated, please contact us at email@example.com.
Proof of Vaccination
Our standard for proof of vaccination is a verified digital vaccine certificate for everyone capable of getting one because they can’t be faked. However, we will accept the paper CDC card provided at the time of vaccination if you are unable to procure a digital version.
If you have any questions about what constitutes acceptable proof of vaccination, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. We are committed to finding workable routes for all fully-vaccinated attendees to attend our convention.
Getting Digital Vaccine Certificates
Depending on your location and/or vaccination provider, it can be easy, quick, and free to get a digital vaccine certificate. For example, since the majority of our attendees are from California, they can secure theirs in a matter of minutes at this site.
The list of providers below is not comprehensive, but are the ones we know of at this time. The number of issuers is growing constantly, though—see this list for the latest. If your State or Province don't provide digital vaccine certificates, check the list for companies or providers that might still apply to you, such as all the major US pharmacy chains.
Ideally, digital proof will include a scannable QR code such as a SmartHealth-compliant code, or others issued by providers like the EU or Clear. Please contact us at email@example.com if you don’t see any listed here that apply to you.
Here is the list of verified providers we’ve discovered so far, click the link(s) that apply to you to get your certificate(s):
- US States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York (Must be Excelsior Pass Plus), Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia (Note: For states using MyIR Mobile, we will accept MyIR digital certificates regardless of date issued)
- US Companies, etc.: CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Express Scripts, BioReference Labs, United HealthCare, Kaiser Permanente, Beth Israel Lahey Health, Companies Using MyChart, Companies Using Cerner HealtheLife (Note: Please see this list for MyChart & Cerner HealtheLife participants)
- US 3rd Party Options: Clear (For those vaccinated at Clear partner facilities, and they also allow you to upload your CDC card), VaxYes (Available for everyone in the US. Level 3 or 4 verification only, bound by California's stringent data privacy laws in addition to HIPAA)
- Canadian Provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan, Yukon
- UK Member Countries: England or Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
- Other Governments: The EU, Japan, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Switzerland, Israel, Philippines, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Bermuda (check with your country’s health department if not listed here)
- Travel Passes: Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org about any travel passes you might have so we can evaluate them for entry into BABSCon
If you’re in a US state or locality not offering digital certificates, but were vaccinated at multiple locations that do, please show the certificate from all locations.
If you’re not in one of the countries mentioned above, please check with your national, provincial, or city government pages to see if they offer a digital certificate.
Other Proofs of Vaccination
- US Military & Veterans Administration: Active US Military Personnel can request a printed verification from their branch of service and present this at BABSCon 2023 with their valid military ID. Those vaccinated by the Veterans Administration have a few options.
- Live Login to Vaccination Record: If you have no option for a digital COVID certificate, but are able to log in to a state, local, or other issuer website to access your vaccination record, we will accept that as proof. You must log in to the site live for our registration staff. No screenshots will be accepted. (Thanks, Photoshop!)
- Printed State COVID-19 Vaccination Record: If none of the above are available to you, we will accept using a printed record from your state. They can generally be requested free of charge and take a few business days to receive.
If you have been fully vaccinated (see above) and absolutely none of the above options apply to you, please contact us at email@example.com to let us help you secure your entry into BABSCon 2023.
While we would not advise people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons and/or are immunocompromised to attend BABSCon 2023 based on the current state of the pandemic, we will accept a medical exception to the vaccination policy.
If you are unable to receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines for documented medical reasons, we will need to see a note from your physician to that effect. This note must be on office letterhead including the Doctor’s name and contact information so they can be verified. The doctor must be an M.D. or MBBS, and the letter must be an original—no photocopies or photos.
If you have any questions or need any assistance regarding proof of medical exception, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What About Rumors That the Vaccines Aren’t Safe?
This is simply not true. Side effects and adverse reactions are extremely rare, and usually very short-lived when they do occur.
- Isn’t Asking Me for My Vaccination Status a Violation of HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)?
No, it is not.
- But What About My Freedom of Choice Not to be Vaccinated?
That is absolutely your choice, but that choice comes with the consequence of not being able to attend our convention.
- Don’t We Get a Religious Exemption?
No, BABSCon is not allowing religious exemptions to our vaccine requirements. While BABSCon respects freedom of conscience and religious belief, we must prioritize human life and health. Additionally, most major religions have no objection to their believers being vaccinated.
We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made things difficult for everyone. We appreciate your understanding that we’re doing what we think is best while trying not to place an undue burden on those wishing to attend BABSCon 2023. Once again, please email email@example.com with any questions or concerns about our policy.