PyCon AU 2023 is a primarily in-person event being held in a period where COVID-19 is still in the community. We can’t totally eliminate the risk this presents, but below are the measures we’re taking, which you can use to decide if attending PyCon AU in person meets your risk tolerance.
We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe, including the people in our community who are at higher risk than us. The PyCon AU 2023 organisers take the risk of COVID-19 seriously, and expect all attendees to do the same.
Why we have this policy
At PyCon AU, we’re applying a policy that goes above and beyond the legally required minimum. We’re doing this for a few reasons.
One is that conferences like ours are uniquely high risk. We’re coming from all over Australia and the world, and gathering together indoors in a large group for the entire day, across multiple days. This means that the risk is much higher than a quick trip to the grocery store.
The second reason is that not everyone faces the same risk from COVID. There are valued members of our community who are more likely to catch COVID, or more likely to experience severe outcomes from a COVID infection. Those people have every right to participate in events like ours, and they’re relying on us—all of us—to keep them safe.
The final reason is that there is no single perfect mitigation for COVID. Many of us will be familiar with “defence in depth”, the practice of layering multiple imperfect protections against something, with the result being stronger than the sum of its parts. That’s why we’re requiring mask wearing and encouraging vaccination and doing the best we can to provide well-ventilated spaces, rather than just relying on any one of those factors in isolation.
Key terms used in this document
- Commitment is something that we are promising to you.
- Requirement is something that you will need to do in order to attend the event. Requirements form part of the conditions of sale of your ticket. Attendees who break these requirements may be asked to leave the event without a refund.
- Recommendation is something that we won’t enforce, but we strongly suggest you do.
- Attendees include the core team, specialist track organisers, volunteers, PyCon AU AV team members and volunteers, speakers, sponsor representatives, regular ticket holders (paid or unpaid), and anyone else present on site (except venue staff and subcontractors).
Requirement: all in-person attendees must wear masks indoors, except when:
- actively eating or drinking - you may briefly raise your mask to bite or sip, but please replace it when you are done with that action
- presenting on stage
- communicating with somebody who needs to be able to see your mouth, for instance because they are deaf or hard of hearing. If you are in this situation, please ensure that you maintain any appropriate physical distance from the person to whom you are communicating, as per the requirement in section Ventilation and density, below.
The mask policy applies to all conference days, including the developer sprints and workshops running on the Monday and Tuesday of the event.
Please note: we have requested that event staff employed or contracted by the venue also wear masks, but we cannot enforce this for those people.
Requirement: Masks must be fitted, and cover the nose and mouth.
Wearing a mask that doesn’t fully cover both your nose and mouth does not offer any protection. For this reason, wearing a mask improperly will be treated the same way as not wearing a mask at all.
Recommendation: We recommend using a mask that is tested against AS/NZS 1716:2012 P2 or international equivalents.
Recommendation: We recommend wearing a mask in public indoor spaces wherever possible travelling to the event, during your stay in Adelaide, and travelling home.
Vaccination and testing
Recommendation: We encourage all non-exempt participants to be up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines, as it is the best way to reduce the impact of COVID-19 should you be infected during your time travelling to and attending the conference.
Recommendation: We strongly recommend that attendees perform a rapid antigen test (RAT) before attending the event, especially if you are aware you have recently been exposed to COVID-19, or if you have recently been unmasked in a group setting.
Ventilation and density
Commitment: During the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday sessions, ventilation systems in all theatre spaces will be set to 100% fresh air.
Commitment: During the Monday and Tuesday sessions, average attendee density will be below one person for every two square metres.
There will be outdoor space available at the venue, where it will be possible to eat and drink. Unfortunately this space is not undercover and might be exposed to rain, and Adelaide is typically rainy in August (with an average of 16 days of rain throughout the month).
Requirement: You must respect your fellow attendees’ boundaries if they ask that physical distancing be maintained.
Exemptions to these rules
Commitment: Exemptions to individual requirements will be provided for attendees who have a genuine medical need for them.
If this is you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll sort something out for you. If you’ve already purchased a ticket, include the 5-character order confirmation code in your email to us.
Some attendees may have non-contagious chronic or acute conditions with symptoms that resemble those of COVID-19, colds, or the flu. In particular, allergy symptoms can resemble COVID symptoms.
Requirement: We expect you to respect your fellow attendees’ privacy. In turn, we ask all attendees that you take appropriate precautions during the event so that you can be confident that you are protecting your fellow attendees.
Remote participation options
PyCon AU 2023 is an in-person event. However, we know that some members of our community might not be able to attend in person for a variety of reasons.
Commitment: We will provide an online ticket tier, which will provide access to live streams of talks, as well as an online space to communicate with fellow attendees. Please note that PyCon AU is not a hybrid conference, and does not have the resources to ensure that the remote participation experience will be equivalent to the experience of attending in person. By providing a remote participation option, we hope to ensure that our community can still benefit from the content presented at the event.
Displaying symptoms or testing positive
Requirement: We require you to not attend the conference if your presence would create a risk of exposure to communicable diseases (such as COVID-19) to your fellow attendees. Risk factors include:
- Experiencing known COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, in ways that are unusual to you
- Testing positive to COVID-19 during the conference, or before the conference without subsequently testing negative (for example, by 2 non-positive rapid antigen tests taken 48 hours apart, or a negative PCR test)
- Experiencing extended close contact with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19, influenza, or other communicable respiratory infections
Requirement: If you test positive, or you’re displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in ways that are unusual to you, you may not attend the event in person.
Commitment: If you test positive, or you’re displaying symptoms of COVID-19, we’ll refund your ticket, or convert your ticket to online attendance and refund the difference.
Changes to this information
Commitment: All of the commitments from us, and requirements we expect from you and your fellow attendees, will only be changed if it is to increase protections. The exception to this is if circumstances outside our control require us to loosen protections. If this happens, we’ll let all ticket-holders know. If you no longer feel comfortable attending as a result of such changes, contact us (email@example.com) and we’ll refund your ticket, or convert your ticket to online attendance and refund the difference.
Portions of this document are based on the North Bay Python Health and Safety Policy.