Studio Update: COVID-19 Protocols

UPDATED December 28, 2022

Thank you for carefully reading – and re-reading – our COVID-19 protocols! We continue to update this page as we continue to monitor current information on COVID, new variants and current public health recommendations.

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

Prior to COVID, AWP has always practiced strict health protocols to prioritize the well-being of our clients and artists. Public Health is central to tattooing. Our studios are clean, Carol Ann!


  • Photo ID is required. No exceptions. Neglecting to provide a photo ID at your appointment will forfeit both the appointment and the deposit.
  • Payment is due at the time services are rendered. If you’re getting an extensive piece over several sessions, payment is due at each session. No exceptions.
  • If you are – or have been – feeling unwell – or if you’re in contact with anyone feeling unwell – do not come to the studio. We know this isn’t *new*, but given how tired we all are of this – it bears repeating. We’re tough on this one – if your artist notices any 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 in the middle of a tattoo. No-one wants awkward, right? We understand that it’s frustrating to postpone and wait even longer for your new tattoo. WE GET IT. Awen and Matt want to say healthy to avoid delays. If we’re exposed, every appointment gets delayed while we isolate (with the potential for more delays if we are actually sick and need time to recover). Besides, we want to keep the studio a healthy, safe place for you and every other client we see as well as keeping our families safe 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. Easy peasy. We good? Cool.
  • 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.
  • Masks are required for everyone for the duration of your time in the studio – regardless of vaccination status. YES WE STILL REQUIRE MASKS. Why, you ask? Because this is one of the few – or maybe the only – situation in which you’re sitting inches away from someone sharing air for hours at a time. As such, a tattoo session is completely different than a quick maskless dash into the grocery store or a hair cut. Masking supports public and personal health and it keeps small businesses – like ours – open. If Awen or Matt get sick, appointments get delayed. Noone wants that. We will provide each person with a new N-95 or surgical mask to wear for the duration of your time in the studio. The masks we provide you help ensure the tattoo workspace is as clean as possible. And yes – we completely 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.
  • With masks on, the windows open, ventilation, air filtration, music playing 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 transport you to your happy place while getting inked. We provide complimentary internet so you can stream to your hearts content.
  • Ventilation is key to interrupting the cycle of transmission for COVID. We cycle fresh – yes good ‘ol fresh outdoor Minnesota (even winter) air –  into the studio. We adjust heating to balance this, but the studios 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.
  • Clients are expected to wear clean clothes to your appointment. If you are coming from anywhere other than your home, change into clean clothes before arriving.
  • IMPORTANT: As we’ve all experienced, things like illness, injury and family emergencies 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 early as possible – and obviously sometimes things come up unpredictably, so be sure to check your email before traveling to the studio.
  • 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, to follow the care instructions and to make good choices during the first few days of healing following the tattoo.
  • 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 11/29/22) – including continuing education on COVID-19 transmission and prevention.
  • Everyone working at AWP is fully vaccinated – including boosters – and we mask. BOOM!
  • We clean and disinfect throughout the studios, including public and common spaces, before and after each client as well as at the beginning and end of each work day.
  • 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) – these practices provide protection to everyone.
  • We circulate fresh air into the studios and filter air 5x hourly with HEPA filtration in every workstation.
  • Studio air quality is monitored by C02 sensors, maintaining Co2 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.
  • Hand washing and hand sanitizer are available to clients throughout the duration of your appointment.
  • Artists will postpone appointments if we have been exposed to COVID-19, 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 and studios are licensed by the Minneapolis Health Department and the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • We’re card carrying Professional Members of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists.
Two things we’ve learned over the last two years is the only constant in life is change,  and that we are ultimately interdependent. Expect protocols and studio hours to change as we continue to encounter new variants, and expect restrictions to come and go dependent upon the quality of choices people make.

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.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT and PATIENCE! We deeply appreciate everyone who sent emails of support and encouragement as well as making purchases of our merch and gift cards during the Shut Down and the Uprising. We cannot thank you enough. You are literally THE BEST.

Be Well,  take good care of yourselves and stay awesome!

~ Awen and Matt