Updated Sept. 16, 2021

Can I host my event/activity?

Yes. Authority and responsibility for events have moved back to units/departments, away from the Events and External relations COVID Recovery Committee. However, we suggest that if you plan for on- or off-campus events, to work with your campus department and/or advisors to understand all requirements of holding an event while the pandemic continues. Groups can plan for events but should do so with caution. Many venues may still have health and safety guidelines to adhere to or operational constraints as they recover from the pandemic’s impacts.

Do I need pre-approval to host my event/activity?

No. Responsibility for following public health rules and campus guidelines returns to the sponsoring organization, away from the Campus Administration and Events & External Relations Operations Sub-Committee. Pre-approval to host events should come from your home department/advisor. In addition to public health and campus guidelines, all pre-pandemic campus policies related to events, including the major events policy remain in effect.

What are the capacity limitations for gathering?

There are no capacity limits on events . The state Department of Public Health and City of Berkeley Division of Public Health does have guidance that applies to “mega events” which are defined by capacities of 1,000+ indoors or 10,000+ outdoors.

As things evolve, where can I find updated health and safety guidelines for in-person events and activities?

The committee has the latest updates on this website.  If you have reviewed the website but still have questions, contact us by email at activitiesrecovery@berkeley.edu.

Will event planners and venue managers be mandated to check for vaccination cards?

If food and beverage are being served indoors and/or if the event has 1000+ participants indoors, then proof of vaccination must be verified against a picture ID following the specific campus protocol. Otherwise, you are not allowed to check for vaccination proof.

If I sign a contract with a venue for my event, will I be reimbursed if it gets canceled due to health and safety guidelines?

This depends on the cancellation terms and conditions in your agreement. We encourage you to enter into agreements that have more flexibility in this regard, especially since there is still a possibility that pandemic conditions could degrade at some point.

Are we able to serve food and/or drinks at our event/activity? Are there restrictions on type and service style?

Food service is allowed, but if food is served indoors then proof of vaccination must be verified against a picture ID. See the specific campus protocol here [link]. However, masking indoor face-covering requirements and the requirement that those who are exempt from vaccination socially distance while eating or drinking make food service difficult indoors. At the current time, our advice is to move food consumption outdoors or avoid food service. . In an outdoor setting, there are no face-covering or vaccination proof verification requirements at this time, so food service is less challenging.

I represent a campus venue, we are not ready to open for guests. Is there a mandate to be open?

No, venues should not be expected to be fully operational until the beginning of the fall semester. Venues that cannot fully open should not choose which specific events to open for, you must use your pre-pandemic booking process or risk severe legal consequences.

I represent a campus venue. Can we be selective about what reservations we accept?

No. You cannot accept or decline a reservation on the basis of content, nature of the group requesting to use the venue, and/or type of event.

Do our event attendees need to wear a face covering? What about our staff?

Events are subject to the same face-covering rules that apply elsewhere on campus. Note that staff who are working at an event must follow applicable rules for employees, even if they differ from rules that apply to guests/attendees.

Will our attendees have to present a green badge or show proof of testing?

Not unless the event is subject to the City public health order requiring proof of vaccination. The campus badging system does not work for non-affiliates and should not be relied on for those populations.

How do we screen event attendees for testing or vaccination?

Only if your event requires it pursuant to the City Public Health Order, you may follow this protocol.

Can departments/units require vaccination as a condition to attend events?

At this time, we may not, unless your event is subject to the City Public Health Order. See the proof of vaccination protocol for more information.

If attendees bring their own food to an event, do I need to check proof of vaccination?

If food or drink is being served indoors and the campus sanctions the activity (makes the room available by reservation) OR pays for the food (including be reimbursement) then a campus employee must check vaccination status for all entrants in real time at the event or meeting.  If no employee can be made available to do that then per the city order food and drink cannot be permitted. Checking is not required when people bring their own food or drinks, but remember that unvaccinated people are required to socially distance themselves when eating or drinking indoors.

Does the under 200 limit for in-person classes apply to events?

No, the academic administration had to make a decision about course scheduling far in advance of the fall semester, at that time, public health conditions indicated that the 200 person limit was wise. That operational decision cannot be undone. However, there are no capacity limitations in the current state and city COVID guidelines, so there is no capacity limit on events.

How much time should I allow in order to get approval for an in-person activity?

That depends upon the activity.  If the activity is subject to the Major Events Policy, the requirements of that policy must be observed.  Location/venue deadlines may also apply.  Please reach out to the venue for more specific information as a part of your planning process. In many cases, the planning cycle can require many weeks so we recommend starting as early as possible.