As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and California declares state of emergency for monkeypoxTwitchCon San Diego published its policy on health measuresindicating that there will be no testing, vaccinations or mask requirements.
“Per current local guidelines, there will be no vaccination or testing requirements for COVID-19 at TwitchCon San Diego. While masks are encouraged, they are not currently required to attend TwitchCon,” reads the statement on the TwitchCon website.
For TwitchCon Amsterdam, held last month, there was a similar policy. said Twitch contributor Nazih Fares The lip he left after four hours, worried about his health despite being fully vaccinated.
“It was like the whole pandemic never happened,” Fares said. “I thought Twitch partners would lead by example, the partner lounge was cramped, the hygiene level was lower and don’t get me started on the ‘bar area’.
As word came that the same policy would be implemented in San Diego, many streamers expressed anger and hesitationstating that they no longer felt safe watching the massive streaming conference.
“I was planning to attend and had booked a hotel room,” said Gary Whitta, a writer and contributor to Twitch. The lip. “With the news that TwitchCon requires neither vaccinations nor masks, I am currently planning to stay home unless they reconsider their policy.”
While it is true that coverage and vaccination requirements are being relaxed across the country as directed by public health officials, California appears to in the midst of a COVID outbreak thanks to the variants and sub-variants of the virus. And even if the mask mandates no longer apply to some areas of California, it’s not outside of Twitch’s power to enforce its own policy.
San Diego Comic-Con, held July 21-24 in the same convention center that TwitchCon will use, requires proof of vaccination or a negative test and masks. Although that didn’t stop people from getting infected — among them Game of Thrones author George RR Martin — according to a report on the by Polygonsome attendees felt more comfortable with the additional instructions.
Adhering to Twitch’s minimum standards is not only a security issue but also an accessibility issue. “There are more than 56 million potential gamers with disabilities and countless people who are immunosuppressed who just want to enjoy these gaming holidays,” said Steven Spohn, senior director of development for AbleGamershe said The lip.
Spohn noted that even with mask and vaccination requirements, no gathering of this scale could be 100 percent safe.
“Everyone knows that going to these kinds of conferences is a risk because the pandemic is not over, but we can mitigate the possibility of exposure and the risks to people’s health with a few simple measures,” he said. “People with disabilities should be included in measures for people’s safety.”
The lip has reached out to Twitch for comment, but has yet to hear back. TwitchCon San Diego will be held October 7-9.