SACRAMENTO — California became the first state to require proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to attend indoor gatherings of 1,000 or more people and outdoor gatherings of 10,000 or more. The new rules, which will take effect September 20, will replace the current requirement of vaccine verification or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours for events with 5,000 people or more.
New York City is also leading the country with its new vaccine mandate, known as the “Key to NYC.” In addition to requiring vaccinations for all workers and customers at indoor dining, fitness, cultural and entertainment venues, it includes venues used by organizers of business events: catering halls, hotel banquet rooms, convention center and exhibition halls. Attendees will need to show proof that the have had at least one dose.
New Orleans followed New York by requiring either proof of at least one dose of a vaccine or a negative PCR test taken within the last 72 hours to enter a variety of indoor spaces, including hotel ballrooms, event venues and reception halls. Large outdoor events will also require proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test for groups of more than 500 people if total attendance is more than 50% of the outdoor venue’s capacity.
Back in California, San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to require proof of full vaccination for entry to “high-contact” indoor businesses, such as bars, restaurants and clubs — and also including all indoor event spaces where food or drink is served. San Francisco’s order creates a new proof of full vaccination for large events at indoor venues with 1,000 people or more; the previous requirement was for vaccination or testing to attend indoor events with 5,000 people or more. San Jose is also planning to require proof of full vaccination for attendees and staff of events of 50 people or more at city-owned facilities, which include the SAP Center, the convention center and the Center for Performing Arts. There will be no option for a negative test.
In other cities without government orders in place, such as Portland, Ore., businesses are banding together to require proof of vaccination for entry. In Portland, in addition to dozens of restaurants and bars, a new coalition includes several venues with event space, such as Holocene Portland, Polaris Hall and Revolution Hall.
This patchwork of varying vaccine requirements being established by individual cities and states will continue to take shape over the coming months. Other states have banned public entities from demanding proof of vaccination and barred businesses from excluding people who are unvaccinated, including Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and Texas.