Studio Update: COVID-19 Protocols

UPDATED December 22, 2021

Thank you for carefully reading (and reviewing) our COVID-19 protocols! We closely monitor current information on COVID-19, its variants and public health recommendations and consistently update this page.

And thank you for your ongoing support as we prioritize public health, the health of our clients and the health of our artists and our families. We appreciate you.


Quick Reference Info:

If you have yet to get poked – with the vaccine – please do it. It’s less painful than a tattoo, shorter than a tattoo, easy to access and FREE. We do prefer proof of complete vaccination (including preferably a booster) to get a tattoo. Be sure to allow 14 days between your first or second vaccine and your tattoo appointment. Find places to get poked. 

If you are unvaccinated, we require proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of your tattoo appointment. Find a walk in PCR test.  Or order an at home PCR test.

Or find an at home Antigen test (comes in a package of two, recommended to take consecutively  24 hours apart – less effective than PCR, but acceptable). These at home tests are in limited supply right now. If you find you’re stranded without a testing option, contact your Artist.



Prior to COVID-19, AWP already had strict protocols in place to proactively protect public health. This studio is clean, Carol Ann! When you come in to the studio for your appointment, you can expect that:

  • UPDATED 12/22/21: Everyone working at AWP is fully vaccinated – meaning boosted as well – and masking. BOOM!
  • UPDATED 12/22/21: Everyone at AWP has renewed our certifications in the Prevention of Disease Transmission in Tattooing – including continuing education on COVID-19 transmission and prevention. This professional certification centers on the practice of Standard Precautions, which are protocols used when providing care to all individuals, whether or not they appear infectious or symptomatic. In other words, employing practices that assume everyone is a potential mode of illness transmission interrupts the chain of transmission. And breaking a link in that chain of transmission provides protection for everyone. That’s science talk right there. And the reason we take so many precautions.
  • UPDATED 12/22/21: If you are (or have been) feeling unwell – or if you’re in contact with anyone feeling unwell – do not come to the studio. Welcome, Omicron – you pesky variant that might as well say “Hold my beer” to the other variants when it comes to transmission levels. We’re tough on this one – if your artist notices you have symptoms during your time in the studio we will cancel your appointment and send you home. It would be awkward to have to send someone home. No-one wants awkward, right? We understand that it’s frustrating to postpone and wait even longer for your new tattoo. Life over the last year has been a series of delays. We get it. PLEASE keep in mind that Awen and Matt want to say healthy to avoid even more delays. If we’re exposed, every appointment gets delayed while we isolate. Besides, we want to keep the studio a healthy, safe place for every other client we see as well as for our families when we go home. If you know you’re feeling funky or have been around someone feeling funky, just let us know asap. Even if it ends up being at the last minute. Cool? Cool.
  • UPDATED 12/22/21: Ventilation is key to interrupting the cycle of transmission for COVID-19. We cycle fresh – yes good ‘ol fresh outdoor Minnesota winter air –  into the studio. We adjust heating to balance this, but the studio does run cool. Bringing a zip up hoodie is a great way to keep one arm covered while the other gets tattooed – or makes for a handy lap blanket if you feel chilly.


  • Masks are required for everyone for the duration of your time in the studio – regardless of vaccination status. Respect for one another – it’s easy, it supports public and personal health and it keeps small businesses – including ours – open. We will provide each person with a new surgical mask to wear for the duration of your time in the studio. The surgical masks we provide you help ensure the tattoo workspace is as clean as possible. And hey – we do support freedom of choice. If you choose not to wear the fresh surgical mask we provide, no problem – we will choose to reschedule your appointment.


  • Clients are health screened through an online wellness screening 24-48 hours prior to arrival and again upon arrival at the studio. Please be honest. If you are feeling ill, do not come to the studio.  Appointments which have not been confirmed with a completed health screening by 6pm the night before the appointment will be subject to cancellation and the deposit forfeited.



  • We want to support the efficacy of the vaccine, and as we all know, the vaccine ramps up the immune system to build those antibodies. (Hello feeling symptomatic for a few days!) In the interest of supporting the immune system, please allow a minimum of 14 days between your first and second COVID vaccine’s and your tattoo. This does not include booster shots, unless you are feeling symptomatic. If you’re feeling symptomatic, contact your artist to reschedule. Please proactively plan accordingly. If  you have an appointment booked, we will happily reschedule – and if you’re booking a new appointment plan around those initial vaccines!
  • If you are not vaccinated, plan ahead to schedule a PCR test 72 hrs prior to your tattoo appointment – including allowing time to receive the results. OR to locate the elusive at home Antigen tests. These puppies can be challenging to find – so start early! If you’ve genuinely tried everything and find yourself stranded without a test, contact your artist.



  • Please minimize what you bring into the studio. A water bottle, earbuds, a basic day bag – all good. Several giant bags and sacks of fast food – not so much. Keeping it minimal helps ensure the tattoo workspace is as clean as possible.
  • Clients are expected to wear clean clothes to the studio. If you are coming from anywhere other than your home, change into clean clothes before arriving.
  • With masks, the windows open, ventilation, air filtration and the buzz buzz buzzing of tattoo machines, it’s harder to hear one another which can make conversation tricky. You’re welcome to bring earbuds with to carry you to your happy place while getting inked. We provide complimentary wireless so you can stream to your hearts content.
  • Clients will wash hands with soap and hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds upon arriving at the studio.
  • You’re welcome to have your phone in the chair with you if you clean and disinfect it with the provided wipes upon your arrival and wash hands after disinfecting the phone. This ensures the tattoo workspace is as clean as possible.
  • IMPORTANT: As we’ve all experienced, things like illness, injury and family emergencies tend to come up at the last minute, so be sure to check your email before coming in for your appointment just in case there are last minute changes to the appointment. In the event rescheduling is necessary, we’ll email you as soon as possible. Obviously sometimes things come up unpredictably, so be sure to check your email before coming in.
  • REMEMBER: A fresh tattoo requires energy from your immune system to heal, and your immune system requires resilience to fight exposure to illness, so it’s necessary  to be healthy when getting tattooed.



  • ALL studio hours, appointments, booking timelines and protocols are subject to change. If you have an appointment, be sure to check your email for updates prior to traveling to the studio.
  • Our artists are trained in Prevention of Disease Transmission in Tattooing through the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, which we re-certify annually (most recently 12/14/21).
  • We clean and disinfect throughout the studio, including public and common spaces, before and after each client.
  • Artists will be wearing masks, gloves, scrubs or aprons and other PPE such as eye protection or face shields. Nothing to see here (or to take personally) – we practice Standard Precautions which protect everyone.
  • We circulate fresh air into the studio and filter air 5x hourly with HEPA filtration in each workstation.
  • Studio air quality is monitored by C02 sensors, maintaining Co2 levels below those recommended by the CDC for COVID-19 indoor air quality.
  • Humidifiers are located in each work station to maintain humidity levels recommended by the CDC for COVID-19 indoor air quality.
  • Single service disposable set ups are provided for each and every client. That means items used during your tattoo appointment – from needles to pigment to ink caps – are all discarded at the end of each appointment. Single service disposable is the way to go.
  • We continue to support physical distancing by staggering appointments and arrival times. Upon your arrival, please be sure to call or text from the lobby before coming up to the studio. Look for an email from your artist with detailed info including a phone # the morning of you appointment.
  • Hand washing and hand sanitizer is available to clients throughout the duration of your appointment.
  • Artists are health screened daily upon our arrival at the studio. We will postpone appointments if we have reservations about our own health or if we feel unwell. Thank you in advance for your understanding if we need to reschedule. Be sure to check your email for appointment updates prior to traveling to the studio.
  • Our artists are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health, the studio is licensed by the Minneapolis Health Department and we’re card carrying members of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists


Two things we’ve learned during this pandemic is that our well-being is interdependent and the only constant in life is change. Expect protocols and studio hours to change as we continue to learn about the virus and its variants, and expect restrictions to come and go dependent upon how responsibly the public behaves. Why do things continue to change? Because we continue to learn more. We get it. COVID Fatigue is a thing. We feel you. We wanna have some fun and return to living more carefree. The pathway forward requires doubling down on diligence to support health, which will support businesses staying open, which will provide more options for more carefree living. See how that works? Cool, right?

We’re big fans of science here. If you’re uncomfortable with any of these protocols, feel free to respectfully inquire for clarification and/or to postpone/reschedule your appointment. Questions? Just ask.

ONE LAST THING – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT and PATIENCE! We appreciate each of you who have sent emails of support and encouragement as well as making purchases of our merch and gift cards during the Stay at Home and during the Uprising. We cannot thank you enough. You are literally THE BEST. (And hey hey hey we’ve restocked our AWP logo rainbow split-fountain print shirts – check it!)

Be well and Stay Awesome!

Awen and Matt