reopening the bay area

California ‘Mega Events': Are Masks Required at Great America After June 15?

The amusement park will reopen with no capacity restrictions for the first time in 15 months, but will be subject to new rules by the state for "mega events."

NBC Universal, Inc.

California is set to reopen on Tuesday, but many have questions surrounding how concerts, amusement parks, and other events that draw thousands of attendees will operate.

The state calls any gathering that include 10,000 people or more "mega events," which come with their own set of rules.

In the Bay Area, California's Great America in Santa Clara for the first time in 15 months on Tuesday will be able to open with no capacity restrictions, meaning roller coasters can be fully loaded and visitors will not be asked to stand 6 feet apart.

But before planning a trip to the amusement park, visitors will be asked to make a reservation online. In addition, attendees will have to attest they understand California's new COVID guidelines.

"You have to click to say you understand that and people who have been vaccinated don't need to wear a mask. If you have had a COVID test in the last 72 hours, you don't need a mask," California's Great America General Manager Barb Granter said. "If you're not vaccinated it's still recommended you wear a mask."

Granter said all employees will still be required to wear a mask.

A mask is also strongly recommended for children under 12 who don't have access to a vaccine.

"It's a recommendation, it's not a requirement," Granter said. "We will allow parents to make a choice for the child."

In Southern California, Disneyland also falls into the mega events category. The park said it will continue to use a reservation system that will ask visitors to indicate they understand the state guidelines.

Anyone who attests that they are fully vaccinated can now visit Disneyland without a mask. The park can operate at capacity and physical distancing is now longer required.

But not every park is ready to make a switch to reopening.

At the much smaller Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose, masks will still be required for all visitors until the city announces new guidelines.

So what about big name concerts like Guns N' Roses at the SAP Center in August? An SAP spokesperson said protocols for those events will come as we get closer to show time.

The protocols for mega events will remain in California until at least October 1. For more information, view our mega events explainer.

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