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Updates

  • 11/17/21: Updated to clarify that performers participating in school-sponsored performing arts activities may not remove masks during these activities. Performers, including youth performers younger than age 18 may remove masks during community-based performances if they are fully vaccinated or tested at least twice weekly.
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Introduction

Public and private events are an important part of our cultural life. Museums, galleries, performing arts venues, and venues that host private events inspire and connect our community and foster social health. This page provides a summary of requirements and best practices for these entities to enhance safety for their workers, customers, and communities and to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission within their establishments.

Given the ongoing community transmission of COVID-19 and the predominant presence of the Delta variant, masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status, is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19 at events, within businesses, and in the community. The Delta variant of the virus spreads much more easily than strains of the virus.

Per published reports, factors that increase the risk of infection, including transmission to people more than 6 feet away, include:

  • Enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation or air handling that allow for build-up of exhaled respiratory fluids, especially very fine droplets and aerosol particles, in the air space.
  • Increased exhalation of respiratory fluids that can occur when an infectious person is engaged in physical exertion or raises their voice (e.g., exercising, shouting, singing).
  • Prolonged exposure to these conditions.

In addition to this information, please remember:

  • Businesses and venues that host Mega Events (indoor events with more than 1,000 attendees or outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees) should follow Best Practices to Prevent COVID-19 at Mega Events.
  • Effective November 8, 2021, indoor events with fewer than 1,000 and outdoor events with 5,000-9,999 attendees are required to check for proof of vaccination, per the LA City Vaccination Verification Ordinance. Visit the SafePass LA website and FAQ page for more information about the Ordinance and the full list of covered locations.
  • Requirements for employees are different than those for attendees. Employers must follow the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and the County Health Officer Order. Please note that the directives in the LA County Health Officer Order must be followed when they are more stringent than the Cal/OSHA ETS.

Please be sure to read and follow the general guidance for businesses and employers. The specific best practices below are intended to supplement the general guidance.

Summary of mask and testing/vaccination rules that apply to events and venues
Photo identification Proof of vaccination

Risk varies based on the size of an event and whether it occurs indoors or outdoors. Outdoor events and those with lower numbers of attendees pose less of a risk of transmission compared to large, indoor events. Below is a table that describes the different rules that apply based on these two event characteristics.

Indoor events with fewer than 1,000 attendees and outdoor events with 5,000-9,999 attendees held in the city of Los Angeles must comply with the LA City Vaccination Verification Ordinance as described on this page and at the SafePass LA website and FAQ page.  

Event Location Number of Attendees Masking Rules Proof of Full Vaccination (or negative test taken in past 72 hours) required for patrons?* Performer Requirements?
INDOOR Under 1,000 Required for all fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated Required if venue is located in the City of LA*; otherwise, strongly recommended

  • Performers may unmask to perform indoors if they are fully vaccinated or tested at least twice weekly.***
  • May also unmask outdoors.

  • Ideally, performers should be at least 12 feet from audience members.
  •  
1,000 or more
(Mega Event)
Required for all fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated Required
OUTDOOR** Under 5,000 Recommended but not required Recommended
5,000-9,999 Recommended but not required Required if venue is located in the City of LA; otherwise, strongly recommended
10,000 or more
(Mega Event)
Required for all fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated Required

*See the Business Compliance Toolkit for helpful resources on implementing a vaccination requirement for your business.

** Please note that effective November 8, 2021 indoor events with fewer than 1,000 attendees and outdoor events with 5,000-9,999 attendees held in the city of Los Angeles must comply with the LA City Vaccination Verification Ordinance as described on this page and at the SafePass LA website and FAQ.

*** Please note that this exception does not apply to indoor TK-12 school-sponsored productions. Per state guidelines, masking is required at all times in indoor school settings. An indoor TK-12 school-sponsored performance includes any performing art activity that is supervised, organized, or sponsored by the school and includes students as part of their curricular or extracurricular programming, regardless of whether the performance is held at the school campus or at an offsite venue.

Follow mask rules for employees and attendees
Wear a mask N95 respirator

Attendees

  • Indoor events and venues. All persons attending indoor public events and venues are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, except while actively eating and drinking in designated areas.
    • When actively eating and drinking indoors, customers must be seated or positioned at a table, counter, or other stationary location. “Actively eating or drinking” refers to the limited time during which the mask can be briefly removed to eat or drink, after which it must be immediately put back on. The customer must wear a mask indoors whenever they are not actively eating or drinking, such as when they are waiting to be served, between courses or drinks, or while seated after finishing the food or drink.
    • Businesses are encouraged to make masks available to all attendees.
  • Outdoor events and venues. For outdoor events with fewer than 10,000 attendees, it is strongly recommended that attendees who are not fully vaccinated wear masks when they are in crowded outdoor settings and when they are in sustained close contact with others whose vaccination status is not known. Additional recommendations:
    • Provide masks at large crowded outdoor events for those who are not fully vaccinated and arrive without them.
    • Require attendees to wear masks when they enter any indoor areas, such as restrooms, restaurants, retail shops, concourses, or concession stands.

Employees*: All employees, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks when working indoors, or when riding in a shared vehicle. Masks need not be worn indoors if the employee is alone in a room or actively eating or drinking. Public Health strongly recommends that all employees who are eating or drinking indoors be spaced at least 6 feet from other persons.

  • Upon request, employers are required to provide employees who are not fully vaccinated with the correct-size respirator for voluntary use, along with basic instructions on how to use the respirator. Respirators must be replaced if they get damaged, deformed, dirty, or difficult to breathe through. For more information about free and low-cost PPE for businesses and organizations visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/docs/FreeAndLowCostPPE.pdf.
  • Employees who work in a setting where they are in close contact with other people who may not be fully vaccinated should be encouraged to wear a higher level of protection, such as “double-masking” (wearing a cloth mask OVER a surgical mask), or a respirator. This is particularly important if the employee is not fully vaccinated and is working in an indoor setting, in a crowded outdoor setting, or in a shared vehicle.
  • Consider requiring staff to also wear eye protection in addition to a respirator if they are not fully vaccinated and have frequent close contact with others, in particular, if they work in the food and beverage service areas where customers are actively eating or drinking.
  • See the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order page and the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards page for more information about mask and testing requirements. Please note that the directives in the LA County Health Officer Order must be followed when they are more stringent than the Cal/OSHA temporary standards.

Performers or presenters: Performers or presenters must wear face masks indoors except when performing a task that cannot feasibly be done while wearing a mask.

  • Performers, including young performers under age 18, may remove their masks indoors during community performances if specific criteria are met. The performers must be fully vaccinated or tested within 72 hours before the performance (single performance) or twice weekly (ongoing performances). Requiring both full vaccination and a recent negative test provides a higher level of safety and is recommended. Unmasked performers must be separated from the audience by at least 12 feet during the performance.
  • Please note that this exception does not apply to indoor TK-12 school-sponsored productions. Per state guidelines, masking is required at all times in indoor school settings. An indoor TK-12 school-sponsored performance includes any performing art activity that is supervised, organized or sponsored by the school and includes students as part of their curricular or extracurricular programming, regardless of whether the performance is held at the school campus or at an offsite venue.

  • * Some independent contractors are considered as employees under the State Labor Code. For more details, check the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Independent contractor versus employee webpage.
Screen attendees and visitors
Screening
  • Screen guests, staff, performers, and crew for symptoms before they enter your venue. Ask them not to enter if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or if they are under isolation or quarantine orders.
  • Indoor events with fewer than 1,000 attendees and outdoor events with 5,000-9,999 attendees held in the city of Los Angeles must comply with the LA City Vaccination Verification Ordinance as described on this page and at the SafePass LA website and FAQ page.
  • Those businesses that are not subject to a vaccination verification requirement should consider implementing a requirement that all visitors present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a pre-entry (diagnostic) test result prior to entry. See the Business Toolkit for Vaccination/Test Requirements for ideas about implementation.
Reduce crowding, especially indoors
Reduce crowding
  • Establish procedures to prevent crowding among persons waiting to enter or exit an event or venue.
  • Consider implementing timed ticketing to limit the number of visitors on-site at any given time.
  • If there are exhibits or attractions inside the venue that might attract crowds of visitors, consider using staff to help direct traffic and limit access if the area becomes too crowded.
  • If you serve refreshments at your event, it is particularly important that you reduce crowding and maximize ventilation. Outdoor dining is safest. If indoors, it is recommended that you have a separate area in your venue for drinking and dining to minimize the mixing of people who are wearing masks continuously and those who are removing their masks while they are actively eating or drinking. Diners must be sitting or standing in a stationary place or in their ticketed seat while eating or drinking. Follow DPH Food and Beverage Service recommendations.
Ventilate
Improve ventilation
  • If your event or venue is indoors, make sure your building’s HVAC system is in good, working order.
  • Maximize ventilation. Options include installing portable high-efficiency air cleaners, upgrading the building’s air filters to the highest efficiency possible, and making other modifications to increase the quantity of outside air and ventilation in all working areas.
  • When weather and working conditions allow, increase fresh outdoor air by opening windows and doors. Consider using fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows – position window fans to blow air outward, not inward. If there are performers, see additional guidance below.
  • Decrease occupancy in areas where outdoor ventilation cannot be increased. Consider use of carbon dioxide monitors to monitor the effectiveness of your ventilation in more densely occupied indoor spaces.
  • If your event is held indoors and has performers that will generate aerosols (such as singers or musicians playing wind or brass instruments) take the following steps:
    • Assess the direction of the air flow in the room to determine where the air is exiting the room. In buildings with HVAC systems, this will be the air-return vents; if doors or windows are open, check the direction that the air is flowing.
    • During performances (including rehearsals), position aerosol-generating performers closer to the locations where the air is exiting the room.
  • See State Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.
Support handwashing
Wash hands
Communicate
Communicate
  • Assign staff to remind attendees that they must wear a face mask at all times when indoors at events and venues, except when they are actively eating or drinking, as specified above.
  • Use advanced registration as much as possible so you know how many people will be on-site or at your event at any given time. Advanced registration can also help you to convey your COVID-19 safety plans to guests before they attend.
  • Use your online platforms to communicate your COVID-19 safety policies to the public, including the masking and vaccination requirements.
  • Make sure all guests are aware of and follow the Los Angeles County Department of Health Travel Advisory.

 


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  • Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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