US makes changes to covid restrictions | Coachella & Stagecoach announce elimination of vaccine / test requirements | Events around the world
Rolling back restrictions
Several states across the US have recently ditched mask mandates, or will be soon. The Omicron scare has subsided and people are anxious to get back to life as we once knew it. The CDC continues to stand by the existing mask recommendations but these decisions are being handled at the state or local levels and things are changing from New York to California.
The indoor mask mandate that was active in California – home of Coachella and Stagecoach – expired on Tuesday along with a few other restrictions specifically targeting events. There are no longer restrictions on capacity or social distancing obligations for either indoor or outdoor events. Verification of vaccination status or negative test results are still necessary for indoor events hosting more than 1000 people but only recommended for outdoor events of 10,000 or more attendees.
In New York state, the requirement to confirm COVID vaccination status or require customers to sport a mask has been lifted. But not so fast, New York City is a different story. Live events, indoor dining and other indoor entertainment still require proof of vaccination. The “Key to NYC” program requirements are reviewed every five days and it’s assumed this will be lifted sooner rather than later. If you want to check out a show on Broadway though, you’re going to have to keep that mask handy until the end of April.
Speaking of Coachella and Stagecoach
Goldenvoice, the promoters behind the two “mega events”, announced that vaccinations or test results would no longer be required to gain entry to the festival grounds. As the events predominantly take place outdoors, the removal of the indoor mask requirement doesn’t change much but it seems this year’s installments of Coachella and Stagecoach will probably feel pretty normal. Both festivals are still a couple of months away so nothing is definite and each of the websites include the following clause: “the event shall be presented in accordance with applicable public health conditions as of the date of the event and which may change at any time as determined by federal, state or local government agencies or instrumentalities, artists or the promoter.”
If you’re still unvaccinated, don’t leave that mask at home. In California, any public indoor settings still require unvaccinated persons to mask up. In addition, it’s probable that masks will be required on buses used for transit to and from the festival regardless of vaccination status.
And, in other parts of the world
- Say "tot ziens" to restrictions in the Netherlands. There will be several phases of changes over the next two weeks, but beginning on February 25th, nightlife can resume without social distancing or mask requirements. Testing will still be required for indoor spaces with a capacity of more than 500 people but there will no longer be restrictions on outdoor venues / events.
- Germany will be a bit further behind but clubs, for vaccinated people only, are allowed to reopen on March 4th. Access to unvaccinated individuals will follow on March 20th. The Bundesliga, and other large outdoor events, will be able to welcome back 75% of capacity on the 4th as well, with the full 100% on the 20th.
- In Australia, singing and dancing are back in New South Wales and Victoria. Social distancing requirements and limitations on capacity at music festivals, both indoor and outdoor, will be eliminated. However, indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people will require attendees to be vaccinated.
- Austria is removing restrictions on events on March 5th.The UAE resumed full-capacity events on February 15th.