California theme parks cleared to return to full capacity in June

The revised guidance will run from June 15 through Oct. 1 and will be reassessed and updated on Sept. 1 as needed

California's theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, have been given the green light to return to full capacity beginning June 15, when the state plans to lift the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and fully reopen. 

According to the Department of Health's revised COVID-19 guidelines, theme parks, sporting events, concerts, music or food festivals, car shows, marathons and parades are considered "mega events", or outdoor events with more than 10,000 people. Also falling under the "mega events" category are indoor events with more than 5,000 attendees, including conventions, conferences, expos, sporting events and concerts.


The agency is strongly recommending that all outdoor "mega events" verify that their attendees are either fully vaccinated or can confirm a pre-entry negative test result. However, attendees who do not verify vaccination status will still be allowed to enter, though they will be encouraged to wear face coverings. Venues are required to make masks available for all attendees.

Meanwhile, verification of fully vaccinated status or a pre-entry negative test is required for all attendees entering indoor venues. Information will be placed on all communications, including reservation and ticketing systems, to ensure guests are aware of the testing and vaccination requirements. Attendees must follow all CDPH guidance on face coverings.

Pre-entry testing must be conducted within 72 hours before a visit. Both PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Guests must bring either a printed document, email or text message from the test provider or laboratory. Those who are vaccinated must bring their vaccination card or a photo of the vaccine card. Businesses and venue operators may also utilize "self attestation" at the point of registration, during ticket purchase or on the day of the event prior to entry into the venue.


The announcement came during Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly's call with reporters Friday. 

Ghaly also said that California is not considering a statewide vaccine passport at this time and that all restrictions on travel outside the state will be lifted. Any future travel restrictions will be in alignment with CDC guidelines.

"This does not mean that local public health authorities, local health jurisdictions cannot or will not put in more strict guidance based on their local conditions," Ghaly added. "There will be some businesses that decide to, you know, require some level of verification of vaccination in order to really have all of their patrons feel comfortable. That isn't something that's going to be driven from the state necessarily, but that might be an operational decision, and we're trying to be ready to support individuals who want to do that thoughtfully and responsibly."


Still, Ghaly empahiszed that California is "at a place with this pandemic where those requirements of the past are no longer needed for the foreseeable future." 

He noted that state health officials will be watching closely to determine if and when additional public health protections are needed.

The revised guidance will run through Oct. 1 and will be reassessed and updated on Sept. 1 as needed.