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Date: August 18, 2021
Number: NR21-256

Beginning September 20, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for indoor events with 1,000 or more attending

In partnership with the private sector, this new measure will help encourage more vaccinations and increase safety at events while ensuring businesses can thrive

SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) strengthened requirements already in effect for mega events in the Beyond the Blueprint Framework, announcing that proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before an event starts, will be required for indoor gatherings where 1,000 or more participants or spectators are attending. Currently, verification of being vaccinated or a pre-entry negative test is necessary where there are 5,000 or more persons for an indoor event.

“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.”

Beyond dropping the requirement from 5,000 to 1,000 individuals, self-attestation to verify a person’s vaccination status will no longer be accepted. The aforementioned changes will remain in place until November 1, 2021.

In recent weeks, California has led the nation in implementing measures to increase vaccinations and slow the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Vaccine verification for school staff. Requires all school staff to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week.

  • Vaccine verification for state workers. Requires all state workers to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week, and encourages local governments and other employers to adopt a similar protocol. Following California’s announcement, some of the largest California businesses and local governments followed suit, as did the federal government.

  • Vaccinations for health care workers. Requires workers in health care settings to be fully vaccinated or receive their second dose by September 30, 2021.

  • Universal masking in K-12 settings. Aligned with guidance from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, California was the first state to implement universal masking in school settings to keep students and staff safe while optimizing fully in-person instruction.

  • Medi-Cal vaccination incentives. $350 million in incentive payments to help close the vaccination gap between Medi-Cal beneficiaries and Californians as a whole, significantly stepping up outreach in underserved communities.

  • Statewide mask recommendation. In response to the spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations and new CDC guidance calling for masking, the state recommended mask use for indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status.

Since first implementing these measures on July 26, California has administered nearly 1 million new first doses. California has led the nation in implementing vaccination and safety measures. California leads the nation in vaccinations, with more than 46 million doses administered and 78 percent of the eligible population having received at least one dose. California remains committed to increasing vaccination rates and urges businesses and local communities to encourage vaccination.

Today’s announcement is supported by leaders in the events and arts sectors who are committed to making larger events safer for their attendees while encouraging more people to get vaccinated.

“We are pleased to see the Newsom Administration take proactive steps to support the arts and live events industries to keep audiences, performers and workers safe as we continue to battle the spread of COVID. The arts have always led with safety first and it is imperative that for every community’s economic, social, and emotional recovery, we must do everything we can to allow for secure gatherings. We implore Californians to get vaccinated and follow public health mandates so we can all enjoy the benefits of arts, culture and creativity and our sector can get back to work,” said Julie Baker, Executive Director of 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. We fully support California’s efforts and will stay in lockstep to keep bringing live music back to the Golden State,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment.

“Today’s announcement adds another layer of protection to make our State, our venues and our communities safer. Our fans, our team members and our families all want to feel as protected as possible from COVID-19 while enjoying our favorite concerts and sporting events. We are proud to partner with public health officials to continue to play a role in encouraging those who haven’t gotten vaccinated to follow the advice of the medical experts,” said Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Unvaccinated Californians age 12 and up can go to or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule an appointment or go to to find a walk-in clinic in their county.

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