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Visitors to Universal Studios and Six Flags may need proof of vaccination

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or recent negative test will soon be required to enter Los Angeles County’s largest theme parks, a senior health official confirmed Thursday.

Under a new health decree due to be released this week, such a check will be required for attendees of outdoor “mega-events” – those with more than 10,000 visitors – from October 7.

While this covers periodic events such as conventions, concerts, and sporting events, the California Department of Public Health has also extended this definition to include amusement and water parks.

In LA County, that means Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain could be subject to the test or vaccine verification requirement.

“It’s only for theme parks that have over 10,000 visitors. For smaller parks, they won’t be covered by this, ”Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a briefing Thursday.

According to a 2020 study by engineering firm Aecom, Universal Studios Hollywood averages about 25,000 visitors per day, while Magic Mountain has 9,900 per day.

It was not immediately clear whether the county would use daily park attendance or its operational capacity to determine whether the new rules would apply.

In a statement, officials at Universal Studios Hollywood noted that “Theme parks have not been classified as mega-event locations in previous county health ordinances and have different operational capacities and practices. We are reviewing the updated prescription with health officials with this background in mind. “

LA County’s requirements will go beyond what the state prohibits. The state recommends, but does not require, that attendees at outdoor mega-events show proof that they have recently tested negative for COVID-19 or have been fully vaccinated.

However, the state requires such verification for indoor events with at least 1,000 people.

The new LA County Health Order, which is expected to be officially released by Friday, will also state that proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and restaurants. lounges. Customers and employees will need to have at least one dose of vaccine by October 7 and be fully immunized by November 4.

Ferrer had previously said residents could demonstrate their vaccination history by using digital records provided by the county or state, or by showing their vaccination card or a photograph of it.

With three weeks before the new order goes into effect, Ferrer said public health officials have time to meet with businesses and locations to look at specific issues or circumstances.

“We will, as always, spend the next few weeks providing technical assistance,” she said. “We do visits where people ask us to. We organize briefings. We have already spoken with bars, nightclubs and lounges; we are discussing tomorrow with the large event rooms. We make one-on-one calls with people who request them because they have special circumstances that they have to handle by us. And we’re here to help any business that will need to come into compliance with this. “