According to the California Department of Public Health, people will be required to get a COVID-19 test or show proof of being fully vaccinated to attend an indoor reception, meeting, or conference beginning April 15.
It’s welcome news for Suher Haidar, a wedding and events planner in San Diego.
"I have a May 15 event for 100 guests that we wanted to have done at a venue and fingers crossed that's going to be approved," Haidar said.
She’s had at least 17 events canceled because of the pandemic and now that the state is providing guidance for the events industry, she said she’s seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
"When we last spoke it was three households, and now its 50 and 100 capacity. We have guidelines," said Haidar, relieved.
CDPH released the guidelines Friday for meetings, receptions and conferences.
Counties in the red tier, like San Diego County, can host up to 50 people outdoors. Capacity increases to 200 if guests are tested for COVID-19 or show proof of being fully vaccinated. And if the event is indoors, all guests, up to 100 people, are required to be tested or fully vaccinated. Capacity increases after each less restrictive tier.
"My couples, some of them have struggled with that, because they feel like they can't enforce vaccines, they can't enforce proof of anything from their guests, but other couples have been like, ‘You know what, we got this, we can make it work’," Haidar explained.
The event planner said the new guidelines will take some getting used to but they are a critical part of getting back to business.
"People still need to hold these events and we still need to survive, because it’s our financial livelihoods, so if we have to keep track of guests that come in who are vaccinated and those who have negative testing results and that has to be the case, then so be it, because we need to do whatever we need to do to reopen again," she explained.
According to state health officials, indoor, informal gatherings at home are still discouraged, unless everyone has been vaccinated, and should only include a maximum of three households.