We are looking forward to welcoming meetings and events back to San Diego!
The following answers reflect the information we have available to us as of July 29, 2021. We will update and clarify this information as we receive further details from our State and County officials. Many responses are directly from the California Department of Public Health’s Q&A.
Please note: The information regarding vaccination and testing applies to events taking place before October 1 with more than 5,000 attendees.
Masks & Face Coverings
In California, unvaccinated people are required to wear face masks in all indoor public settings, including our convention center.
Individual event organizers may be more restrictive than this guidance.
Timing & Tiers
Yes, the Convention Center’s agreement with the Office of Refugee Resettlement ended July 15.
Yes! The Convention Center has detailed plans in place for appropriate cleaning and maintenance before events resume. The Convention Center has already been rebuilding its staff to support the federal emergency intake site/shelter. After supporting multiple large-scale essential activities and earning prestigious safety accreditations, Convention Center staff will be highly experienced and prepared to host event activity.
As of June 15, there aren't any attendance limits. For indoor events with more than 5,000 attendees, the following public health guidance applies:
- Verification of fully vaccinated status or pre-entry negative test result is required of all attendees. The state has determined that “self-attestation” is an acceptable method in meeting the negative testing or fully vaccinated status requirement, meaning that event organizers will be expected to ask event attendees if they meet the requirement. Organizers are encouraged to obtain this confirmation during the online registration process prior to the event. Organizers are not required to retain a record of attendee vaccination records or negative test results.
- Information will be prominently placed on all communications, including the reservation and ticketing systems, to ensure guests are aware of testing and vaccination requirements (including acceptable modes of verification).
- Attendees must follow CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings.
The state will assess conditions by September 1, 2021, to determine whether updated requirements or recommendations are needed beyond October 1, 2021.
Our understanding is that staff working within the building will not count toward the attendee limit.
All employees of the San Diego Convention Center and its business partners have had the opportunity to be vaccinated. We are gathering more information about the exact percentage of our workers who are fully vaccinated, as well as the requirements for testing of any unvaccinated workers.
Yes. The 5,000 threshold (for vaccination and testing requirements) is per event if attendees from the different events do not mix.
The State is not requiring any changes to room capacities.
People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19: two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).
See CDPH Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Persons for additional information.
Yes, if they are fully vaccinated.
Vaccinations & Testing Logistics
The following are acceptable as proof of full vaccination: Vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date last dose administered) OR a photo of a vaccination card as a separate document OR a photo of the attendee's vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device OR documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider.
Event organizers may also use self-attestation at point of registration, during ticket purchase or on the day of the event prior to entry into the venue.
Each attendee will be asked to confirm that they will meet the requirements for a negative test or are fully vaccinated before entry into the event. Event organizers are encouraged to obtain this confirmation during registration or at ticket purchase. For sales made the day of the event, or for sales made through a third-party seller, confirmation can be made either in writing or verbally by attendees prior to entry.
Yes, we can provide information about nearby locations and testing providers.
Testing must be conducted within 72 hours before event start time (both PCR and antigen are acceptable). Results of the test must be available prior to entry into the event or venue.
Verification: The following are acceptable as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result: printed document (from the test provider or laboratory) OR an email or text message displayed on a phone from the test provider or laboratory. The information should include person's name, type of test performed, and negative test result (date of test must be within prior 72 hours). Event organizers may also utilize self-attestation at registration.
Vaccination record cards are intended to provide recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine with information about the type of vaccine they received, and when they may be able to receive a second dose of the vaccine. By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, the unauthorized use of an official government agency's seal (such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) is a crime, and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws.
Additional Health & Safety Protocols
Since March 2020, we have worked closely with City, County, and Federal public health officials to support a healthy environment for emergency response efforts that have taken place in our building during the pandemic. With their guidance, we enhanced our cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention protocols, and conducted extensive employee training. Having supported continuous, 24/7 activities within our building for well over a year, we will have one of the most experienced teams in the country when events resume.
Our systems are carefully managed to provide the appropriate amount of indoor air circulation and proper outside makeup air. We have also installed additional hand sanitizer stations and hygiene reminder signage throughout the building.
Our food and beverage partner, Centerplate, earned an additional hygiene verification label, Rise SAFE, that is specifically for catering operations. Rise SAFE is managed by Centerplate's parent company, Sodexo, and Bureau Veritas, an independent world leader in testing, inspection and certification.
Inside the convention center building, masks are required for unvaccinated people and recommended for vaccinated people. Individual meeting planners may choose to have policies that go beyond State minimums for face coverings. The State has updated its face covering guidance to align with CDC recommendations.
Our SDCC employees and business partners will be subject to additional Cal/OSHA COVID-19 standards.
Beginning June 15, there will not be any social/physical distancing requirements.
Yes; our guidelines will reflect existing fire marshal and building capacity limits. The State has communicated there will not be any COVID-19 related requirements after June 15.
No, but event organizers should cooperate and work closely with their local health departments to assist in any contact tracing efforts. Additionally, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), if applicable to them, which requires that employees be notified of an exposure.
We recommend individuals sign up for CA Notify as an added layer of protection to receive alerts when they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
The San Diego International Airport asks all travelers to follow CDC guidance for traveling. That guidance requests that international travelers fly after being fully vaccinated. See the CDC site for additional details.
Destination: San Diego
In San Diego County, more than 80% of the eligible population has had at least one vaccine dose as of July 2021. The San Diego Convention Center has provided several opportunities for employees to be vaccinated onsite at the Center. Additional employee and business partner protocols will be determined based on ongoing data and consultation with health officials.
There is no State mandate for all hospitality and event employees to be vaccinated. San Diego’s hospitality industry has implemented best-in-class safety protocols, including enhanced cleaning and staff training, and have been successfully hosting leisure guests since last summer.
The Convention Center and hotels will be appropriately staffed to provide guests the visitor experience they have come to expect from San Diego.
During the pandemic, we have been able to retain many Convention Center employees to support the homeless shelter and then the emergency intake site, which is an even larger effort. In March, we began steadily rebuilding our staff, especially in the operations areas such as facility and cleaning services, engineering, and event management. Our business partners, including Centerplate and our technology partners, have also been rebuilding their staff to support the emergency intake site. At this time, we do not expect major staffing challenges.
After June 15, it is anticipated that parks such as the Embarcadero will be open for events and receptions without restrictions.
Yes! San Diego still offers near-perfect weather, 70 miles of coastline, unlimited opportunities to explore the outdoors as well as a rich and diverse arts and culture scene. In addition, many of our hotels, attractions, restaurants, wineries, breweries and other hospitality businesses have innovated and renovated to provide new experiences—all with visitors’ health and well-being top of mind.