Adults and teens may need to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test to visit Universal Studios Hollywood or Six Flags Magic Mountain, starting Thursday.
A new Los Angeles County rule takes effect that day, forcing outdoor "mass events" of more 10,000 people to require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test from within the past 72 hours to enter. The rule applies to all visitors ages 12 and up.
However, since the rule covers only events that attract 10,000 visitors or more, parks will not have to demand to see proof of vaccination or a negative test on dates when they do not admit 10,000 people that day. Six Flags Magic Mountain is noting on its park calendar the dates that it expects to require proof of vaccination or a negative test. Universal Studios Hollywood typically draws more than 10,000 visitors most days, so it is telling fans to be prepared to show proof whenever they visit.
Acceptable proof includes your CDC vaccination card, a digital photo of that card, a QR code from the California Department of Public Health "or an approved company," or documentation from your health card provider. Two weeks must have passes since your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or your J&J shot, otherwise you will need to show a negative test result. Negative tests must be on a printed document, email, or text message displayed on a phone from the test provider or laboratory. That must show your name, test type, and test date. Lab-conducted PCR or antigen tests both are okay, but home tests are not.
Masks will continue to be required indoors and outdoors, except while actively eating in a designated area.
Since this is a Los Angeles County rule and not a State of California one, it applies only to events inside LA County. That means that theme parks outside the county - including Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County - will continue to operate as before.
With more and more venues in Los Angeles County now requiring proof of vaccination to enter, many LA-area residents now know the drill. But if you don't and were planning to visit Universal or Six Flags on an affected day, have your proof of vaccination or your negative test ready to go before you reach the security screening. If you are 18 or older and visiting Universal, you also will need to show your ID in addition to your vaccination or test record, so have that ready, too.
Whoever checks your documents is not the person who made these rules and certainly has no authority to change or ignore them, so please be nice and help them do their job - as you always should be doing when visiting any destination.
Will this change affect attendance at local parks? No one knows. Nearly 78% of eligible residents in Los Angeles County have been vaccinated, and theme parks won't be the only big venues to require proof of vaccinations or a negative test to enter. If the new rule causes people who have not been vaccinated to abandon Universal Studios Hollywood, that might actually encourage more local residents to visit, especially families with children.
While the new rules undoubtedly creates more work for front-gate workers at both parks, it's too early to tell if it will have any significant affect upon attendance. But if I had to guess, you'll probably find just as many people visiting Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain after this new requirement as before.
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