Disease Mitigation

Octo wearing mask to prevent Covid-19

In October 2024 we will be heading back to the Gibson Hotel, Dublin, and Online with a hybrid convention. We are glad to be able to get together again in person, but we wish to do so in a way which is as safe as possible and with lower risks so more of us can attend.

We acknowledge that even with these precautions in place, some members will not be able to attend in person and we are glad people are making the best informed decision for themselves, which is why we have an online membership so people can attend safely from home.

At the moment, we are closely watching current developments for any changes from our 2023 Covid-19 policy as appropriate for 2024, and it won’t be just about Covid-19, but disease mitigation. See our Octocon 2023 covid-19 policy below for reference, with changes to be announced as needed.

The policy was in line with HSE guidelines at the time of writing.


Vaccines are wonderful science which saves lives. We ask that all those attending Octocon in person be up to date with their vaccinations especially for Covid-19. We acknowledge that these vaccines are not medically suitable for everyone, so it is all the more important that those of us who can be vaccinated make sure we are. Find out if you can have your winter vaccinations for both Covid and Flu before Octocon by asking your doctor or pharmacist.


We ask members to have a negative Antigen test result within the 24 hours immediately prior to arriving at the convention.  We will not ask for proof of a negative test – we will trust members to do this, as it is part of how we keep each other safe. However, we ask members to be responsible and not to attend in person if they have any cold or flu symptoms. 

Octocon asks anyone who develops cold/flu or Covid-19 symptoms during the convention to self-isolate as far as possible and stay away from public convention areas for the sake of other members and venue staff and guests.


Face masks must be worn at all times over the nose and mouth, except when actively eating and drinking in the bar and restaurant areas.  This includes while seated in programme items and while moving around the venue.  Face visors are not accepted as a substitute for masks because they offer insufficient protection against virus transmission. A small number of disposable masks will be available at the Information Desk if you have forgotten your mask.

Members who have a legitimate exemption from mask-wearing (for example, children under the age of 11; people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability; or people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress) can get a badge from the Information Desk.  Wearing this will help convention volunteers and prevent unnecessary challenges.


Compliance with this policy is a condition of attending Octocon in person.  Breach of it will be treated as a Code of Conduct matter.  

Moderators of programme items will be asked to remind attendees to wear masks and encourage them to make full use of the space available in programme rooms at the beginning of each programme item.   

Octocon volunteers will gently remind anyone seen not wearing a mask, or not wearing it correctly, to do so. They will be aware of the badge which indicates a person is exempt.   Harassment of anyone who reminds people to comply with this policy will be treated as a Code of Conduct matter.

Breaching the code of conduct and/or the Covid 19 Policy can result in being asked to leave the convention and being barred from attending future conventions. 

Post Convention Reporting

If you test positive within 14 days of attending Octocon, we would ask that you contact us via , and if you can let us know what programme items you took part in. We will make an anonymous report to our members, so they can assess their risk and take tests. 

Data Protection

For privacy and GDPR reasons, Octocon will not keep records of any convention member’s vaccination status, medical exemption from vaccination, or medical exemption from mask-wearing.  Octocon will not ask for the reasons for medical exemption from vaccination or mask-wearing.


  • Get vaccinated
  • Have a negative antigen test within 24 hours before arriving at the convention
  • Wear a mask
  • If you develop symptoms, attend online
  • Let us know if you test positive during or after Octocon
HSE Guidelines info-graphic
  • HSE guidelines correct at time of publication.