• March 24-26, 2023
  • Lancaster County Convention Center, Lancaster, PA
General Announcements
Zenkaikon 2023 COVID Policy

Zenkaikon 2023 COVID Policy

Last Updated: August 5, 2023

Zenkaikon is more than just a convention: it is a community. As such, we all have a duty to protect each other and our friends, families, and peers. This has been true since the first Zenkaikon in 2006, and it remains true today.

At Zenkaikon, we aim to continue this tradition of providing a welcoming, supportive, and safe environment for all anime, science-fiction, fantasy, and gaming community members. We are responsible for providing and maintaining a safe convention experience for everyone from members and volunteers to staff and hotel employees.

This policy is intended to comply with all applicable local and state laws. It is based upon guidance provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will continue to follow developments, revise the policy as necessary, and communicate any updates or changes with members.

The following is the current official Zenkaikon Policy related to preventing the spread of COVID-19:

Mandatory: Masks must be worn.

Masks must be worn by all members attending Zenkaikon aged two and older. This also includes vendors, artists, panelists, guests, Zenkaikon staff, volunteers, and anyone affiliated with or participating in the in-person convention. Masks are to be worn in all public and convention-operated spaces. All masks should be well-fitting and cover the nose and mouth.

Recommended and acceptable masks include:

  • Surgical or procedural masks (tie or ear loop)
  • N95 or KN-95 masks without vents
  • Cloth masks

Unacceptable masks include:

  • Face shields
  • Bandanas
  • Neck gaiters
  • Masks with vents
    • Why? Masks with vents or exhalation valves allow unfiltered exhaled air to escape, increasing the chances of potential COVID exposure.

Masks may be removed temporarily in the following situations:

  • Cosplayers may briefly remove their masks for walking onstage for the Masquerade and the Cosplay Dating Game while properly social distanced
  • Cosplayers may also remove their masks while taking photos at the official con photobooth.
  • Masks may be removed while eating and drinking in designated areas.
  • Temporarily to sip a drink or take a bite of a snack while not in a designated area; masks must be pulled back up in between bites/immediately thereafter.  
  • Any other time at the request of Zenkaikon Staff.

During Masquerade line-up, judging, group photoshoots, the Cosplay Ball, and as specified during all other situations during the con, masks are to be worn.

Mask requirements for photos with our celebrity guests of honor will be announced close to the convention dates and may vary from guest to guest. As we get close to the convention, we recommend checking the guests’ autograph page for specific details.

Individuals observed not to be wearing masks properly or at all in convention-operated spaces will be asked by a member of Zenkaikon Staff to wear a mask as per our COVID-19 Policies. Individuals who repeatedly violate Zenkaikon’s COVID-19 Policies or refuse to wear a mask may have their membership to Zenkaikon 2023 revoked and may be asked to leave convention-operated spaces.

If you see a member of Zenkaikon Staff, a volunteer, or other affiliates not wearing a mask, please feel free to contact Convention Leadership by calling 717-666-7108 or emailing covid@zenkaikon.org.

Recommended: Completed Vaccination and Boosters.

To attend any aspect of Zenkaikon in person, we strongly recommend you be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the convention with a course of vaccination approved for human use as a COVID vaccine in the country in which the vaccine was received, including authorization for emergency use. If you are getting vaccinated or boosted for Zenkaikon 2023, you should have all required COVID vaccination doses no later than 14 days before the day you arrive at Zenkaikon to allow them to reach full efficacy before arrival.

Zenkaikon asks all who do not feel well just before the convention to stay home and participate in Zenkaikon Online, our online event.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I do if I test positive for COVID?
  2. Where can I get a COVID test?
  3. What does “fully vaccinated” mean?
  4. Do I need a booster shot?
  5. Will I need to show proof of vaccination to attend Zenkaikon 2023?
  6. I can’t wear a mask for medical reasons. What should I do?
  7. What if I lose or break my mask?
  8. Where can I remove my mask to eat at the con?
  9. I will not be able to attend Zenkaikon due to the COVID policy, but I have already purchased my membership. What can I do?

What should I do if I test positive for COVID?

If you test positive for COVID while attending or immediately after attending Zenkaikon, the convention would appreciate being informed at covid@zenkaikon.org to facilitate contact tracing. Your name and personally identifiable information will be kept private.

Where can I get a COVID test?

For the benefit of travelers who need COVID tests to return home, or anyone else who desires a COVID test, we have posted a list of local COVID-19 testing locations here:

  • Rite Aid Pharmacy: 59 N Queen St Lancaster, PA 17603
  • Rite Aid Drive-Thru Testing Location: 825A E Chestnut St Lancaster, PA 17602
  • CVS Pharmacy: 32-54 W Lemon St Lancaster, PA 17603
  • CVS Minute Clinic: 1507 Lititz Pike Lancaster, PA 17601
  • Lancaster General Health Urgent Care: 540 N Duke St Lancaster, PA 17602

What does “fully vaccinated” mean?

“Fully vaccinated” means you must have received all required COVID vaccination doses no later than 14 days before the day you arrive at Zenkaikon to allow them to reach full efficacy before arrival. For people arriving on Thursday, March 23, that would be Friday, March 10.

Do I need a booster shot?

A booster shot is not a requirement for entry. Currently, the CDC recommends booster shots to everyone five and older. Booster shots can be received six months after completing a two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As general health advice Zenkaikon encourages its members to follow whatever health policies are in place and to consult their doctor as needed.

Will I need to show proof of vaccination to attend Zenkaikon 2023?

No, we will not ask for proof of vaccination when you receive your badge at Zenkaikon Registration.

I can’t wear a mask for medical reasons. What should I do?

Unfortunately, Zenkaikon requires all members to wear masks in convention spaces without exception, except while actively eating or drinking. We encourage you to work with your medical professionals to try and find a style of mask that works for you before the convention. If you need a refund for your membership due to our masking policy, please contact registration@zenkaikon.org.

What if I lose or break my mask?

Zenkaikon advises bringing multiple masks to the convention and having a second mask in your pocket or purse for backup. We will have surgical masks available for free at the Info Desk and Registration for emergencies.

Where can I remove my mask to eat at the con?

There will be designated public areas in the hotel where you can remove your mask to eat and drink. If eating, you must be seated at a table; you may not walk and eat. We recommend that people not spend more than thirty minutes eating to allow others their opportunity. You can, of course, be unmasked when outside the hotel.

I will not be able to attend Zenkaikon due to the COVID policy, but I have already purchased my membership. What can I do?

We are offering anyone who has already purchased their membership but cannot attend in person due to our COVID policy a refund of their membership down to the Online Membership level. With your refund, we will send you information on how to access Zenkaikon Online so that you can participate in Zenkaikon remotely. For those who purchased a membership package with Zenkaikon Online attached, your access will stay active.

Please email registration@zenkaikon.org with any COVID refund questions.