2021 COVID Safety Plan and Attendance Policy

Safety Plan

We are re-emerging in freedom with responsibility. Since conditions continue to develop, check back here for updates. Final release is expected by the evening of November 18.

While more than half of adults in Ohio are vaccinated, there is still risk with travel and large gatherings. This is why we will strive to exceed all mandated safety protocols along with our partners, the Hyatt Regency Columbus and the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

We understand that some people may be uncomfortable with in-person events, or may be unable or unwilling to observe the requirements below. In this case, you are welcome to join us virtually by registering for the Online Only Pass.


Attendee Guidelines

Masks required All attendees will be required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth. This is a city-wide mandate for the City of Columbus.
Self-screening required All attendees will be required to perform a self-screening for symptoms and risk factors. Please do not come if you are ill.
Vaccination required We require all attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with no exceptions.

  • Full vaccination as defined by the CDC: Two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of J&J
  • 14 days after last dose
  • If you need vaccination or a booster, use the links to find a source in Ohio or elsewhere in the U.S.

Note that full vaccination requires you to receive your first dose no later than October 22 (Moderna), October 29 (Pfizer), or November 19 (J&J), so please plan accordingly.

Children Vaccinated children 13-17 years old may attend with a responsible adult. No vaccine is available for children under 12, so we unfortunately cannot accommodate them this year.
December When the date is near we will need you to let us know that you are really coming and if you will be here on Friday, Saturday, or both. This will help us manage the crowd size and admit any waitlisted attendees.

Travel Planning

High-COVID areas If you are traveling from an area where the positivity rates are 15% or higher, consider staying at home.
Also, check the community rates of Franklin County, Ohio.
15% was the travel advisory guideline of the Ohio Department of Health that expired in March of 2021 but it is a metric for consideration.
Hospitals If you have a medical condition that puts you at greater risk (such as immunocompromised persons or those with respiratory ailments), you should consider attending virtually instead. Even if your medical condition does not relate to infectious disease (such as heart problems), take note that hospital beds and ICU beds may be limited or unavailable due to COVID.
Statistics of bed use in hospitals in the area are available from the Columbus Dispatch.
The COVID-19 field hospital at the Greater Columbus Convention Center is not active at this time.
Hotel As well as a venue partner, we recommend the Hyatt Regency Columbus as a lodging option. You are free to stay elsewhere but they were selected in part due to their Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR Certification. With these third-party cleanliness protocols, the Hyatt provides premier safety standards. All function spaces at the Hyatt have HVAC filters that were upgraded to MERV 14, which is recommended by CDC guidelines.
Parking Covered parking is available at the South Garage of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Touchless advance parking is available for purchase online.
Those who stay at the Hyatt may park at the Chestnut Garage and have the amount billed to your room.
Swab test The CDC provides safety recommendations for vaccinated travelers. In addition, you may wish to consider obtaining COVID testing (test locations for Ohio in general or Franklin County specifically) before and after your trip.

At The Event

Social distance We will provide socially distant seating at least 3 feet apart. You should also maintain distance in other areas of the event.
No handshake You must respect the personal space of others. Consider limited contact gestures such as elbow bumps and waves.
Meals Food and beverage will be offered in designated areas away from the general sessions.
We hope to offer optional onsite catering for lunches and receptions with low touch and distanced seating experiences.
There will be a listing of area food and beverage menus available for purchase with the establishment’s safety protocol.
You may pack a lunch and bring a water bottle if that makes more sense to you.
No walk-ins We regret that we are unable to handle walk-in attendees this year. Check in hours will be limited. Register in advance to avoid disappointment.
Virtual attendance You may consider attending virtually for some or all of the event to reduce risk of exposure. We are trying to make the virtual experience fulfilling. Not everyone is ready to attend in person. It is a personal choice if on-premises attendance is right for you.

Additional details such as floorplans, schedules, and local conditions shall be posted as they become available.

Attendance Policy


For safety, we are limiting the number of attendees this year. Registrations will be taken until Friday, November 26, or until we have sold out of our ticket inventory, whichever comes first. Note that t-shirt orders for pick-up on site must be placed no later than Sunday, November 21.

Attendee-Initiated Cancellation

Cancellations prior to November 26 will be given the following options:

  1. 100% refund
  2. Transfer to a person identified by the registrant
  3. Donation to the Ohio Linuxfest Corporation, a 501(c)(3) registered charity of the State of Ohio.

Cancellations during November 26-December 1:

  1. Transfer to a person identified by the registrant
  2. Donation to the Ohio Linuxfest Corporation, a 501(c)(3) registered charity of the State of Ohio.

Cancellations after December 1 will be considered a donation unless it is a wellness concern. Other circumstances will be handled by the board on a case-by-case basis.

One-week Attendance Affirmation

The first RSVPs will be required for all registrations prior to November 19. At this time, you may indicate if you intend to attend Friday only, Saturday only, or both. This will enable us to work in the waitlist.

Additionally, you will have to actively affirm that you agree to adhere to the event safety plan as released and that you received your final vaccine dose no later than November 19. Any registrations that take place between November 19 and November 26 will automatically affirm that you agree to the safety plan and have received a final dose no later than November 19.

If you do not agree with the safety plan by 11:59pm Eastern Time on November 26, your registration will be cancelled.

24-Hour Self-Screening Affirmation

A second RSVP which states to the best of your knowledge that you are well. You are to complete this notification between December 1 and the morning of December 3.

We do not want you to attend sick. We will cancel your registration and offer a refund if you indicate that you are unwell.

If you do not respond and show up, you may be asked to answer the same questions concerning your wellness on paper.


If you register and do not attend, it is your responsibility to cancel during the RSVP window or via wellness check.

If we do not hear from you concerning your need to not attend by December 6, then we assume your registration is a donation to the Ohio Linuxfest Corporation.


In the event that we are sold out prior to November 18, then we will open a waitlist. We hope to bring in the waitlist as we process attendance affirmations during the November 19 to November 26 time period.

OLF Falls Back to Virtual-only

The Ohio LinuxFest Corporation, due to unforeseen circumstances, may be required to cancel in-person activities.

We will have an announcement October 29 and November 19 to affirm that we are still welcoming guests at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

If we should cancel our in-person activities after November 19, it is because circumstances have developed which will make it impossible for us to proceed.

Enthusiast and Supporter registrants will have the ticket price refunded. OLFI registrants will have the option to continue or to cancel for full refund.

Hotel Accommodations

We hope that you can stay with us at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. A discount link is provided and the rate will be honored until November 11. After then, the link may work, as inventory and pricing allow.

There are other area hotels where you may choose to stay. That’s OK. It will not financially harm us should you choose to stay elsewhere. You may find it inconvenient to navigate indoors through other Greater Columbus Convention Center properties as the GCCC and its food court are not 24-hour buildings. Other than that disclosure, the choice is yours.

Remember hotels are an essential business and conferences are not. Should in-person activities be cancelled, your hotel reservation will not automatically be cancelled as well.