What to know about booster or test mandate

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San Jose this week approved a new ordinance mandating that anyone entering city-owned facilities such as the SAP Center for large events must prove they received a booster shot or tested negative for COVID-19.

The new order replaces the city’s previous vaccination mandate and there are some important changes that you should be aware of before heading out to watch a game or see a play in San Jose.

What does this new order say exactly?

It says anyone attending anyone attending an indoor event of 50 or more people at a city-owned facility must prove they’ve been inoculated with a booster shot or tested negative before entering. In addition to attendees, the order applies to employees, players and performers.

Why is the city enforcing such a rule?

Mayor Sam Liccardo proposed the new regulation in late December in an effort to curb the COVID-19 surge fueled by the rapidly-spreading omicron variant. The City Council approved the ordinance on Jan. 11 as an additional precautionary step.

How is this different than the city’s previous proof-of-vaccination requirements?

San Jose previously required that attendees of events of 50 or more people at public facilities show proof they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning they had received two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one shot of Johnson & Johnson. People with a negative COVID test result were barred from entering unless they were also fully dosed.

The new mandate is more lenient, allowing those who have not yet received a booster shot to enter if they show a negative COVID-19 test result.

It also requires that even children under the age of 5, who are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, show proof of a negative test upon entry.

Why is the city allowing negative tests now when before it didn’t?

The change was made to align with federal guidance and requirements from the California Department of Public Health, according to city spokesperson Carolina Camarena.

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