ORLANDO, Florida – The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) moved from Maryland to the Sunshine State this year due to coronavirus restrictions — but it doesn’t mean that this year’s conference is free of them.
All attendees at the major conservative gathering must fill out a health survey on their cellphones, and take a daily temperature check upon entering the conference. A small sticker is to be placed on their badge to confirm their temperature was in normal parameters.
CPAC 2021 will include a number of COVID-related precautions.
Additionally, masks are required in all public spaces due to regulations in Orange County, Florida, and the Hyatt Regency hotel where CPAC — of which Fox Nation is a sponsor — is being held. CPAC staff are standing by to hand out masks.
Attendees will see enormous signs reminding guests to wash hands, stay physically distant and wear their face coverings. In elevators, dots are on the floor to remind people to keep distant.
Meanwhile, in the giant Hyatt ballroom, where the main conference events will take place, seating is spaced out in several rows with just four chairs in a row. Elsewhere, book signings and other such events have been pared back.
Most attendees appeared to be complying with the rules, at least outside the main conference hall — where attendees sported pro-Trump masks or others with slogans such as “freedom” or even ones made especially for CPAC.
Those items were also on sale, as part of a wide range of “Make America Great Again” and pro-Trump merchandise including sweaters, masks, hats and T-shirts sporting the visage of the 45th President of the United States.
However, there were some signs of discontent at the restrictions being imposed. Those in the conference hall had to be reminded to keep their masks on during the speeches — a move that sparked some pushback.
CPAC organizers told guests that these were rules coming from the county and the Hyatt.
“We are in a private facility and do want to be respectful of the ordinances they have as their private property,” one organizer said. “So please everyone when you’re in the ballroom when you’re seated you still should be wearing a mask, so if everyone could go ahead and work on that.”
Boos and chants of “freedom, freedom” came back from the audience, leading the organizers to try and frame the debate about one for respect for private property.
“You have the right to set your own rules in your own house and we’re borrowing someone else’s house, so we need to comply with their rules,” one organizer said.
“We’re going to comply with their rules.”
Fox News’ Mark Meredith and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.