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 April 21, 2021. We will update and clarify this information as we receive further details from our State and County officials. We expect to have further guidance from the California Department of Public Health soon.
Timing & Tiers
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on April 6, 2021, that the State’s economy would reopen on June 15, 2021, if successful vaccination efforts continue, and hospitalization rates remain low.
See the April 6 Beyond the Blueprint memo.
Three reasons: Vaccinations continue to ramp up, hospitalizations remain low and case rates are falling. To date, more than 25 million vaccine doses have been given to Californians and at least 74 percent of those 65 or older have received at least one dose. State officials are confident that California will continue to see progress in its vaccination rates, which will allow it to effectively manage hospitalizations and case rates.
The current color-coded tier system will be retired once the California economy reopens on June 15. The State envisions that the most current Blueprint for a Safer Economy guidance will be rendered moot, with all guidance and guidelines going away by October 1.
Yes, the Convention Center’s agreement with the Office of Refugee Resettlement has an end date of 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.
From June 15 through October 1, conventions are limited to 5,000 attendees unless attendees can verify vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result. If the testing or vaccination verification criteria are met, there is no limit on number of attendees.
The State foresees lifting restrictions on the number of attendees on October 1.
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.
We are seeking clarification from the State; however, as written, the 5,000 capacity will include show management staff.
Yes, they will if attendees from the different events do not mix.
We are currently awaiting further guidance from the State.
Vaccinations & Testing Guidelines
Between June 15 and October 1, if an event has 5,000 or fewer attendees then there is no testing or vaccine verification requirement for domestic (non-international) attendees. If there are more than more than 5,000 attendees, there must either be testing or vaccination verification. After October 1, these criteria will no longer be required.
Yes, if they can show proof that they are vaccinated.
Between June 15 and October 1, convention capacity can only exceed 5,000 if vaccination status or testing is verified for all attendees. We are seeking clarification from the State; however, as written, the 5,000 capacity will include show management staff and exhibitors.
The State has said all restrictions would be lifted by October 1, but they may clarify that with later guidance.
Vaccinations & Testing Logistics
While we are waiting for clarification from the State, it is our understanding that it will be the responsibility of the show organizer or meeting planner.
We expect to have further guidance on this matter soon.
We are in conversation with UC San Diego Health and other local organizations to develop plans for rapid testing at our facility. We want to make that option available to our customers. Please tell us if you are already coordinating with a possible testing partner so we can ensure the provider will meet our local County standards. ;
The State plans to clarify its testing requirements when it releases further guidelines. Based on initial conversations with health officials, we anticipate proof of a negative test within 72 hours will be sufficient but we cannot confirm at this time. We will update this answer once we have official confirmation.
As of now, the State has not identified specific vendors to assist meeting planners with vaccination verification. State officials will provide greater insight into vaccine verification and standards when they release additional guidelines.
Additional Health & Safety Protocols
We plan to follow State and County guidelines we do not plan to implement additional requirements beyond those. Meeting planners can choose to have additional protocols for their specific events.
Currently, the guidelines address capacity limits and do not spell out social distancing guidelines. We expect the State will provide additional guidance soon.
We do not yet have detailed guidance for physical distancing in exhibit halls for events taking place before October 1. We expect to have that guidance soon.
We do not expect physical distancing to be required after October 1.
While we don’t anticipate specific restrictions regarding food and beverage after June 15, individual venues may elect to implement protocols on their own. Therefore, it will be best to work with the venue staff where your event is taking place to ensure any requirements are being met.
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. If a traveler is not fully vaccinated, then the CDC recommends getting a test with a viral test 1 to 3 days before your trip.
Destination: San Diego
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.