Get Ready for Summer 2021!
It’s been a long wait, but California is now opening up for meetings and events. CHLA has been working with state officials over the past year to develop implementable industry guidance and reopen meetings for the lodging industry. As part of those efforts, CHLA organized sample meetings and event displays at hotels across the state and invited key policymakers to explore how we keep guests safe. This latest round of guidance builds upon this work and we are excited to continue working with policymakers to obtain clarified meetings guidance and further resume normal lodging operations. However, there are several key questions which may affect how you chose to restart your meetings and events operations. The following Q&A is based off of questions received during our April 2021 State Update Webinar:
Q: If a meeting is a mix of vaccinated and non-vaccinated—does everyone require testing?
A: Not necessarily. A hotel can have an outdoor event without testing, subject to the capacity limits included in the Blueprint (see below).
Q: Has there been any document produced to track documentation of vaccines or negative tests for attendees?
A: No, and exactly what information needs to be collected is not defined in the guidance. However, the entity tracking testing/vaccines should collect the name and contact information of those tested/vaccinated. It’s not advised that hotels or event hosts collect and maintain any vaccine information (copies of vaccine card, test results, etc.).
Q: We are not requiring employee vaccinations, but it sounds like the meeting guidelines may require us to know our employees’ vaccination status?
A: If the event capacity needs to allow for untested/non-vaccinated employees, it would be good to know this information. If not, this requirement could be avoided. The most common use of employee vaccinations is to provide a percentage of vaccinated employees to clients and others. As an example, a hotel could promote the fact that 100% of its employees are vaccinated. The event guidance and most other guidance (and health officials) from the state encourages vaccinations.
Q: So just to confirm—a hotel conference services manager does not need to collect proof of vaccination or negative covid test results from the meeting planner having the event at the hotel. How would we know (the hotel) that they are all vaccinated or have a negative covid test?
A: Someone has to be responsible for the vaccine/testing information. CHLA recommends the meeting planner/host as the responsible party, with the hotel and planner/host having this detailed in any agreement. If the planner/host is responsible per the agreement, that’s all that is necessary. See the CHLA Sample COVID-19 Event on the CHLA website.
Q: Under the state blueprint there is guidance for “gatherings” that allows up to 25 people indoor without testing or vaccinations. Would this apply to hotels or is this for personal private gatherings?
A: This applies to hotels, too.
Q: How about COVID waivers for events? Can those be issued by hotels/venues?
A: No. A hotel cannot “contract itself out of a law.”