California state officials this week announced new rules requiring those who can’t show proof of fully COVID-19 vaccination to get tested closer to the event time if they want to enter a concert, a stadium or another large venue.
The new rules, which went into effect Wednesday, require unvaccinated event attendees to get tested within one day if they’re getting an antigen test, or within two days for a PCR test, before trying to enter a large venue.
This replaces a previous requirement that unvaccinated attendees get tested at least 72 hours before an event.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced the change on Monday, saying the update seemed appropriate, given the fact that tests are now more widely available, result turnaround times are faster than before, and there are more transmissible variants of the virus circulating.
The rules apply to “mega events,” which the state defines as events that draw crowds greater than 1,000 attendees indoors and more than 10,000 people outdoors.
For indoor mega events like sporting events, concerts and conventions, verification of full vaccination status or a pre-entry negative test result is required of all attendees.
For outdoor mega events like music or food festivals, marathons and parades, verifying vaccination status or pre-entry negative test result is only strongly recommended, but not required statewide.
In Los Angeles County, verifying vaccine status or checking for a negative coronavirus test is required both indoors and outdoors.
The county updated its health officer order to mirror the state’s, announcing that starting Friday, everyone attending indoor or outdoor mega events and can’t provide proof of full vaccination must present proof of a negative test taken from within one day prior to entry if the test was an antigen test, or within two days prior if it was a PCR or molecular test.
Children under 2 years old are exempt from the testing requirement at indoor mega events in L.A. County and across the state.
While at L.A. County outdoor mega events, children under 5 years old are exempt.
California’s new testing rules for events were announced along with other changes, including a new statewide mask mandate for all indoor settings and a new recommendation that travelers who return or visit California get tested within three to five days of their arrival.