With vaccinations on the rise and venues re-opening, event planners and attendees are eager to get back to in-person events. But before you open registration, it's time to write your COVID-19 guidelines and entry protocols.
Having clear COVID-19 guidelines and protocols will add another layer of safety for everyone at your event. Not sure what you need to tell your attendees? We looked at a range of events, large and small, to give you an idea of what you should add to your guidelines.
Purchase a Ticket and Agree to Guidelines
New Orlean's Jazz Fest includes the following notice, warning, and acknowledgement attendees must agree to before purchasing a ticket.
COVID-19 Notice: I understand that the event for which I purchase a ticket shall be presented in accordance with applicable public health requirements as of the date of such event; such requirements may include, without limitation, changes to capacity, attendance procedures and other protective measures.
Warning: COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. There is an inherent and elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place or place where people are present and there is no guarantee, express or implied, that I will not be exposed to COVID-19 at the event.
Attendee Promise & Health Acknowledgement: I agree to follow event policies (including health and safety policies) and posted instructions while at the event. According to the CDC, older adults and people of all ages with serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of death or severe illness from COVID-19. I understand and agree that I will evaluate my risk in determining whether to attend the event. By entering the venue/event, I voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and confirm that I will adhere to local quarantine requirements and the CDC quarantine guidelines, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html
Include CDC, State, and City Guidelines
It's best to include CDC guidelines as well as your State and/or City's health guidelines. Lollapalooza included the following Chicago Department of Public Health's recommendations for before, during, and after Lollapalooza:
Before the event:
- Get vaccinated! (Getting vaccinated now will still give you some protection for Lollapalooza weekend – though if you are not Fully Vaccinated, you will still need a negative test)
- Bring your vaccine card or proof of negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours
- Reminder from the FBI: If you make or buy a fake COVID-19 vaccination record card, you endanger yourself and those around you, and you are breaking the law
At the event:
- Wear a mask if you are unvaccinated
- If you are unvaccinated or at high risk for severe COVID-19, avoid crowded areas of the festival and stay at least 6 feet away from other groups
- Activate your wristband and register for Cashless so that you can make purchases at the festival with your wristband
- Avoid physical contact with people outside of your party
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
- Limit consumption of substances. Consuming alcohol or substances may make you less likely to follow COVID-19 safety measures
- Do not attend Lollapalooza if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea), even if you have been vaccinated
- Do not attend Lollapalooza if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot attend the festival can receive a refund
After the event:
- Remember that shows outside of the festival may have different COVID-19 protocols
- Outdoor music events are safer than indoor events
- Outdoor dining options are safer than indoor dining options
- If you are attending an indoor event and are unvaccinated, wear a mask and maintain 6-foot distance from other parties
When you get home:
- Stay home and get tested if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated
To see Lollapalooza's full COVID-19 Guidelines, click here.
The Pageant, a live music venue in St. Louis, just announced a new entry requirement for all attendees: show your vaccination card or a negative test within 72 hours of the event. To see The Pageant's full COVID entry guidelines, click here.
"Effective Monday 08/09/2021, ticketed admission to both The Pageant and Delmar Hall will also require proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 Vaccination or a Negative COVID-19 Diagnostic Test within the previous 72 hours regardless of customer age...While we believe that most of our patrons are already vaccinated, our continuing goal is to provide as safe an environment as practically possible. Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or a Professionally Administered (physician, clinic, pharmacy, etc.) Negative COVID-19 Diagnostic Test can be a physical paper copy or a snapshot on your mobile device, along with a matching photo ID, to display upon admission. At home tests will not be accepted..."
"We're partnering with the North Carolina Department of Health to ensure we adhere to the highest safety standards, including requiring every attendee to have been fully vaccinated."
Masks and Hand Sanitizer
Current medical research finds that being vaccinated and outdoors is safer than indoors. If any of your event occurs indoors, be specific that a mask is required in the indoor common areas.
Help your attendees by providing free masks as well as hand sanitizer. Lollapalooza included the following section in their guidelines.
"Based on the latest advice from the Chicago Department of Public Health, Lollapalooza will require masks in any indoor spaces at Grant Park beginning Saturday. We encourage all fans attending the festival to bring a mask as they attend the final two days of the festival. Masks will be available for free at the entry gates, guest services and medical tents. We will have increased hand sanitizer stations on site, and our cleaning crews will do frequent cleanings in high touch areas."
With the future of events this Fall and Winter unknown and COVID-19 research and recommendations changing daily, it's best to give your attendees the most information so they can make the best decision for themselves.
It's possible that many people want to attend your event, but just don't feel safe or comfortable doing so. Offering a hybrid solution might work best - it keeps your in-person capacity lower while allowing the flexibility to tune in from virtually anywhere.
Interested in going hybrid and live streaming your next event? We wrote an article on How to Livestream at Your Event.
Not sure you want to take the risk of throwing an in-person event? We wrote the guide to help you Run Your First Virtual Conference!
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