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COVID-19 Health and Safety at the 2022 National Book Festival

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Happy National Book Festival week! We look forward to welcoming you all to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this Saturday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.). The festival is free and open to all.

While we cannot wait to be back in person this year, your health and safety remain our top priority. Please familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety protocols when making your festival plans.

Masks are optional in the convention center, but use is encouraged. It is advisable to wear a mask if close contact cannot be avoided, or if you are arriving to the National Book Festival from a situation or location that required masking.

  • Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, were diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past five days, or have been recommended to quarantine or isolate by a medical official.
  • Consider testing yourself using a home rapid COVID-19 test kit prior to arrival.
  • Consider your personal risk factors and those of your close contacts at home and take appropriate measures to protect yourself. This may include being up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination and wearing a well-fitting, high quality mask while attending the festival and its activities. Understanding Risk | CDC

For more information on attending the National Book Festival, please visit

Comments (15)

  1. Safety is important. Thank you

  2. It would be nice (in.the future if Covid remains) if the grounds people would reconsider and allow the book festival outside on the mall.

  3. Yes safety first then conversation with each other how should be prevention programme.

  4. Hello,

    I am wondering if this year’s NBF will have a virtual option for attendance.

    Thank you,

    Emily Colucci

    • Yes, absolutely! Events on three of our stages will be livestreamed on Main Stage, Young Adult and Society & Culture. Plus, event videos will be available on demand on our website shortly following the festival.

  5. I’m honestly surprised that you’re even referring to these as protocols, since it’s basically doing nothing. If someone is sitting in a room coughing, are you going to ask them to leave? I know I’m taking the risk if I come, but describing the air filtration systems at the Convention Center, seating and capacity plans, and availability of free masks to highly encourage it (since you refuse to require it), would all do a lot more to mitigate COVID and reduce our risk than the list you gave.

  6. I plan to attend, but find it extremely upsetting, when it’s an indoor event, that masks are optional. If organizers actually cared about health and safety masks would be mandatory. Definitely my common sense opinion.
    Thank you for permitting me to state it.

  7. I wish the festival were on the mall again. No masks required indoors? I won’t be attending.

  8. Thank you for putting together the free festival, once again, and highlighting Health & Safety! Looking forward to NBF 2022!

  9. I loved the Book Festival on the Mall!
    It’s not the same at the Convention Center.
    With the pandemic, it would be especially great to have it on the Mall!

  10. It would be good to put the book festival back on the Mall, especially with covid and optional masking making it so risky to hold a mass event like this one indoors. Yes, it rained the last year the festival was outdoors, but things went smoothly most years before that.

  11. National Book Festivals are usually held outside. Surprise and disappointed its to be held inside, especially with Covid. Even though I won’t be able to attend … hopefully 2023 it will be held outside.

    The very best NBF 22! Peace & Love

  12. I love the festival and usually volunteer. This year I’m unable to volunteer but did plan to attend. I’m not at all please with the masking being optional. With the number of people attending, common sense would mandate masking for anyone entering and proof of vaccination. Very disappointed with LOC decision on Covid protocol.

  13. Great! I’ll be wearing my mask. I hope masks will be available to give people who have forgotten.

  14. Yes I would really like to attend this I was wondering how much it cost and if maybe I would be able to read a poem if I don’t have a heart attack and freeze is it possible to read poems also? If not I definitely still want to go I love books I love reading writing all of that stuff is especially for children oh and I have some leaf art I created so that children and Young adults young kids young teens young adults adults instead of well especially children instead of like a child that’s not talking because a PTSD when they stop talking instead of having them stare at ink lots and weird shapes and ask him what it is actually using leaf to make leaves to make faces masks I have a little leaf of it a person dancing on some Halloween stuff I don’t know I really want to go I’m so excited could someone please email me I will greatly very much appreciate it thank you very much super stoked and

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