Here’s how COVID vaccine and testing requirements at large events will work after California reopens June 15

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With California reopening its economy June 15 after months of coronavirus-related restrictions, officials last week released more details about admission into large events like concerts and games.

Next month, the state will drop its physical distancing requirements and business capacity caps. It will also align with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s masking plan, which lets fully vaccinated people ditch face coverings in most settings.

While the state was previously letting venues open at a greater capacity if they ask for proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test, California officials are now requiring that certain large indoor event operators verify the safeguards.

Here’s what state officials say large events in California will look like, starting June 15:

‘Mega’ indoor events

For indoor events hosting a crowd more than 5,000 people like conventions, conferences, expos, sporting events and concerts, event organizers will need to ask for verification that all attendees are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours before the event starts.

It applies to all indoor events of that size, including those with assigned seating and ticketing.

Guests must also follow the state’s guidance on face masks.

Venues will have to make sure reservation and ticketing systems explain testing and vaccination requirements, including what would be an acceptable mode of verification.

‘Mega’ outdoor events

For large outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees, like festivals, car shows, marathons, parades, sporting events and concerts, the state is only “strongly recommending” verification of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test.

For guests who are neither vaccinated nor tested, venues can give them the option to attend but with a mask required.

Venues are required to make available masks for all attendees.

The state also recommends that event organizers, both at indoor and outdoor venues, encourage guests to sign up for CA Notify to receive alerts when they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for the coronavirus.

What’s considered acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination and testing

To prove vaccination, people can bring either the white CDC card they got when they got the jab, a photocopy of the card or a photo of it on their phone, or documentation of vaccination from a health care provider. 

To verify a negative coronavirus test, event-goers can bring a printed document from a test provider or laboratory, or show an email or text message with their test result displayed on a phone. It has to include the person’s name, type of test performed, and negative test result and date of test done within 72 hours.

Venue operators may also have people “self-attest” when they’re buying their tickets or before entering the venue, state officials said.

The requirements and recommendations for verifying negative tests and vaccines will be in place through Oct. 1, 2021, at which point the state will begin assessing conditions to determine whether updated requirements or recommendations are needed, according to the California Department of Public Health.

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