Proposal: adding vaccination status to the in-person meetup safety checklist

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the in-person event safety checklist and associated resources! These have been hugely helpful in assisting local organizers to plan for these events where possible, while making sure they plan safe WordPress events.

When we created that checklist, COVID-19 vaccine rollout was still in very early stages, and the checklist did not account for vaccines. Vaccination efforts are still being rolled out across the world and many people do not have access to vaccines yet, but progress has reached a point where it seems wise to start incorporating it into the checklist, where possible.


The team proposes to apply the following guideline to the in-person event safety checklist for WordPress chapter meetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook.:

In places that don’t currently pass the checklist (or during time periods that a place doesn’t pass)…

but COVID vaccines are freely available…

if local public health authorities say it’s acceptable for fully-vaccinated people to gather in person

then those people should be able to meet in person, through their local WordPress meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. group.

If this were added to the meetup guidelines, it would mean that in places that do not meet the safety expectations in the checklist, in-person events should be organized for fully-vaccinated people only, at this stage. That being said, it isn’t practical (and, in some places, legal) to ask organizers to check the vaccination status of individuals. Therefore, I suggest we ask groups to use the honor system, trusting that people will only attend these events if they have been vaccinated.

Organizers would need to clearly explain to attendees that they should only attend if they are willing to accept the risk that — despite the intent of the meetup — someone might attend who is not fully vaccinated. If someone is not comfortable attending in-person meetups with this level of risk, then they should keep attending online meetups until conditions change. 

Local organisers could try inexpensive ways to live-stream their events, or otherwise incorporate an online component. Local organizers should invite community members to keep holding online meetups, as an alternative to in-person meetups.


It would be great to get some feedback on this idea, specifically in the following areas:

  1. Do you think it’s reasonable to allow fully-vaccinated people to hold in-person WordPress meetups, where allowed by public health authorities?
  2. Do you think the proposal as outlined will be effective? Why or why not?
  3. If this proposal were to move ahead, should we request that organizers take any additional safety measures for in-person meetings of fully-vaccinated people (ie, holding those meetings outside, or providing masks and hand-sanitizer, limiting attendance)? 
  4. What could the Community Team do to assist with easy and/or inexpensive live-streaming of meetup events?

Let’s keep discussion open for two weeks. I’ll close comments on May 27!

Thank you to @hlashbrooke, @rmarks, @angelasjin, @harishanker, @jenniferswisher, and @kcristiano for their insight and feedback on this proposal!