TwitchCon changes COVID-19 policy following backlash

"It should be an inclusive event for everyone"

Twitch has changed its COVID-19 guidelines for TwitchCon, with attendees now required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test, as well as wearing a face mask while indoors.

TwitchCon is set to take place next month in San Diego, with players able to meet streamers and take part in “legendary cosplay contests, rivals tournaments, meet and greets, rare loot, panels, artist alley” and witness an “epic” musical performance.

However, following criticism from some fans about the lack of COVID-19 safety precautions, Twitch has now updated the entry requirements for the three-day event.

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“We’ve heard from many of you that you want a safer TwitchCon, so we’re updating our policy,” said Twitch in a Tweet. “Masks will be required indoors, as well as either proof of vaccination or a negative covid test. Let’s make the ultimate squad up safe and accessible for everyone.”

A statement went on to explain how “many of you – especially those who are immunocompromised and the people who support them – want stricter health measures in place to help you feel safe attending TwitchCon San Diego in person.”

“We agree that we can do more to help keep people safe. We want TwitchCon to be a place where our entire community can come together and celebrate each other. It should be an inclusive event for everyone, and that means taking steps to ensure as many people as possible feel comfortable with the safety precautions we’re taking.”

Twitch is also offering refunds for anyone who is uncomfortable with the new requirements. Earlier this year, Twitch updated its community guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation on the platform.

“We’re proud that we can bring people together – but we do not believe that individuals who use online services to spread false, harmful information, have a place in our community. While these individuals are not prevalent on Twitch, they could cause significant harm if allowed on our service,” Twitch said, announcing the changes.

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In other news, Twitch streamer Clara ‘Keffals’ Sorrenti woke up to armed police raiding her home last week – which she says is the latest in a campaign of transphobic harassment she has experienced whilst streaming.

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