State public health officials tightened vaccine verification requirements Wednesday for large indoor events, requiring vaccine proof or a negative COVID-19 test for events with more than 1,000 people.
Starting Sept. 20, the California Department of Public Health will require indoor venues to confirm the vaccination status of attendees or that they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of an event.
Venues will also no longer be able to allow event attendees and spectators to self-attest their vaccination status and are encouraged to utilize the state’s digital vaccine record system.
State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Tomas Aragon cited the spread of the ultra-contagious delta variant as well as the COVID-19 vaccines’ success at preventing serious illness and death as the main reasons for the verification requirements.
“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,” Aragon said.
The state had previously required vaccine or negative test verification for events of 5,000 or more people through at least Oct. 1. Until Sept. 20, those rules will remain in effect.
State public health officials touted support for the new guidelines from entertainment event giants like Live Nation Entertainment and AEG as well as Californians for the Arts.
“Vaccination and health check requirements ensure everyone can continue enjoying live music while also encouraging even more people to go get vaccinated, which is why Live Nation has made this the standard at our venues and festivals across the country,” Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement. “We fully support California’s efforts and will stay in lockstep to keep bringing live music back to the Golden State.”
The guidelines issued Wednesday will keep the verification system in place through at least Nov. 1, according to the CDPH.