People attending the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative within the previous 72 hours, the association announced Sept. 3.  

The 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition will be held Oct. 11–13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Registration and housing registration are open. 

The new COVID guidelines are part of the association’s efforts to have a safe in-person event that follows recommendations from the convention center, the District of Columbia government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

In addition to proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, masks will be required regardless of vaccination status while indoors except while eating and drinking. 

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the in-person AUSA Annual Meeting,” AUSA officials said in a statement. “The health and safety of attendees, presenters, exhibitors, staff and the local community continue to be our top priorities as we count down to this year’s important event.”   

Prior to the Annual Meeting, attendees will be asked to upload proof that full vaccination was completed at least 14 days prior to arriving in Washington, D.C. Alternatively, attendees can supply negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your first day on-site at the event. 

The report must be issued by a medical clinic, agency or pharmacy. Self-tests will not be accepted. A prior COVID-19 diagnosis or antibody tests are not accepted for entry into the event.

For the purposes of entry to the AUSA Annual Meeting, a person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or any World Health Organization approved vaccine for international participants, or 14 days after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. 

Registered attendees will receive an email with details on how documents may be uploaded. If you haven’t registered, the upload process will be part of online registration by early next week.

On-site registration—with the required proof—will be allowed but could result in delays.  

There will be no exceptions to the requirement to be fully vaccinated or have a negative test. 

Mask Requirement  

The District of Columbia has announced that as of July 31, everyone over the age of 2 must wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Participants at the in-person AUSA Annual Meeting will be required to wear masks at all times, except when actively eating or drinking.   

Masks cannot include vents or valves, and gaiters, bandanas and scarves are not permitted. 

Food and Beverage  

The convention center is now mandating that all food and beverage be consumed sitting down or standing at a table. Food and beverage cannot be consumed while moving around the center.

“We will continue to evaluate and expand our COVID-19 protocols as best practices and applicable legal requirements evolve and will send updates, so you know what to expect when you arrive in D.C,” AUSA officials said. 

For more information or to register for the 2021 Annual Meeting, click here.