California To Lift Vaccination, Testing, All Other Covid Requirements For Indoor Concerts, Sporting Events

Just days after the Oscars telecast, California will lift its requirements that all attendees at indoor “mega events” — such as concerts, conventions and sporting events — state officials announced today. Those measures will still be strongly recommended.

Indoor mega events are those with more than 1,000 attendees, according to the state. After April 1, there will be no State of California mask, vaccine, testing or social distancing requirements for them.

The updated guidance from State Health Officer Tomás Aragón reads as follows:

Effective April 1, 2022, the requirement for vaccine verification or proof of negative tests for attendees at Indoor Mega Events will be lifted and will move to a strong recommendation. This shift acknowledges that while case rates and hospitalizations are declining statewide from their peak during the Omicron surge, Indoor Mega Events continue to involve several factors that increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

That means the state’s requirements will be lifted just days after the Oscars on March 27, but in time plenty of time for events like the Netflix Is a Joke Festival in April-May and Comic-Con in July.

Los Angeles County has not announced a date for lifting its Covid restrictions on indoor mega events. Vaccine verification “continues to be required for entry,” according to Los Angeles Public Health officials earlier this month, “with a negative test result as a substitute for those not fully vaccinated. Masking is also still required. Vaccine verification at outdoor mega events and indoor portions of bars, nightclubs and lounges is strongly recommended and no longer required.”

The Oscars, of course, will not be subject to county (or city) requirements, given their status as a TV production.

While the state correctly notes that “case rates and hospitalizations are declining statewide from their peak during the Omicron surge,” some early indicators hint a new wave of infections may be on the rise.

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