It looks like "vaccine passports" are now a thing at California's theme parks - at least for out-of-state visitors.
A new notice published on the state of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy industry reopening rules says that, "fully vaccinated persons from out of state may visit or attend activities or events that are restricted to in-state visitors." California has been restricting theme park attendance to state residents ever since allowing the industry to reopen within the state on April 1. This new guidance would allow out-of-state visitors to enter California's theme parks, too - provided they can show proof of vaccination.
That proof of vaccination is what people are talking about with so-called "vaccine passports." In the United States, people are getting white index cards from the CDC when they get their shots. But having your full dosage noted (two shots for Pfizer and Moderna or one for J&J) is not enough to show full vaccination under California rules. Your last dosage must have been at least two weeks ago for you to be considered fully vaccinated, as the vaccine takes time to take maximum effect.
So far, SeaWorld San Diego appears to be the first California theme park to update its published rules to allow for out-of-state visitors. Initial announcements on SeaWorld's website and social media had also provided an option for non-vaccinated out-of-state visitors to provide a negative Covid test to be admitted to the park, but SeaWorld has now removed that option, as it did not appear to be permitted by the state.
Capacity remains limited at 25 percent in the state theme parks, including SeaWorld, Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. That means rides are operating at reduced capacity, too - not just that parks are limited in the number of people they can let through the gate. So attraction wait times so far have not been much off from what would have been typical wait times before the pandemic. But the state's two most popular theme parks - Disneyland and Disney California Adventure - have yet to reopen, with their return slated for April 30, next week.
California residents do not need to show proof of vaccination to order to visit a theme park. The requirement is just for out-of-state visitors. People who live outside of California and come to visit the state are supposed to get tested for Covid and quarantine upon entry if they have not been vaccinated.
While California is embracing proof of vaccination, the nation's other theme park capital - Florida - has been explicitly rejecting them, with Florida's governor issuing an executive order banning businesses in the state from requiring proof of vaccination and the state legislature now moving to make that order into law.
For tickets to theme parks in California and across the country, please visit our travel partner's Discounted Attraction Tickets page.
* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that - and our approach to covering theme park news - please sign up for our free, twice-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.