When California reopened in mid-June, one of the only remaining rules revolved around so-called “mega events.” Under those guidelines, attendees at indoor events with more than 5,000 people needed to be fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
Starting September 20, though, that rule will become even more strict. On Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health announced that indoor events with 1,000 people or more will require vaccine verification or a negative test result within the past 72 hours.
Moreover, the state will also eliminate the self-attestation option. Under the previous rules, a business could merely ask ticket buyers to check a box online saying that they’ve been vaccinated or tested negative. Now, they’ll need to actually verify that’s the case. All of these new rules will be in place until November 1, 2021.
“The Delta variant has proven to be highly transmissible, making it easier to spread in large crowds where people are near each other for long periods of time,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “By requiring individuals to be vaccinated, or test negative for Covid-19 at large events, we are decreasing the risk of infection, hospitalization and death.”
To put the 1,000-person capacity into perspective, that means it’ll apply to venues about the size of the Regent or the Fonda and larger. In L.A., some of the impacted venues have already implemented similar measures: AEG Presents, which owns the El Rey, the Fonda, the Shrine Auditorium, the Roxy and the Novo, announced that it’ll require proof of vaccination in October, as did the LA Phil for its upcoming season at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Pantages for the return of Hamilton.
The statewide news comes as both the City and County of Los Angeles consider requiring proof of vaccination at all indoor spaces, and a day after L.A. County announced that it’ll extend its indoor mask mandate to massive outdoor events with more than 10,000 people.