Reopening FAQs

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

Are masks required?

In California, unvaccinated people are required to wear face masks in all indoor public settings, including our convention center.

Our State and County are also following CDC guidance that recommends everyone wear a face mask in indoor public settings, whether you've been vaccinated or not.

Individual event organizers may be more restrictive than this guidance.

Timing & Tiers

When did California’s economy fully reopen?

The California economy reopened on June 15, 2021.

See the May 21 Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors memo and the April 6 Beyond the Blueprint memo.

Attendance Limits

What are the attendance limits for conventions, and when will they be lifted?

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.

Vaccinations Guidelines

What is the definition of "fully vaccinated"?

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.

Vaccinations & Testing Logistics

What is acceptable verification of vaccination?

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.

Additional Health & Safety Protocols

How has the San Diego Convention Center enhanced its cleaning and ventilation protocols in advance of reopening?

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.


Are people outside of California allowed to travel to be here?

There aren't restrictions on traveling to San Diego or California from other states in the United States. See California’s current travel recommendations and Visit California’s FAQs.

Destination: San Diego

Is San Diego hospitality staff (e.g., those at restaurants, hotels, and attractions) required to be vaccinated prior to coming back to work? What about those working conventions?

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.