AUSTIN (KXAN) — As concertgoers gear up for the 2022 Austin City Limits Music Festival, COVID-19 safety protocols in place will look a lot different this year.

Festival organizers required last year either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event, along with masking in areas like festival lines, on ACL festival shuttle buses and toward the front of the stage. Local health officials linked 36 COVID cases back to the two-weekend festival in 2021.

This year, there isn’t any requirement for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. ACL organizers encourage unvaccinated attendees to wear a mask and for patrons and staff to stay home if they feel sick, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Austin Public Health (APH) also confirmed Thursday they will not offer vaccines at ACL this year. However, they later clarified that Travis County staff will be on site offering doses.

What happens if you get sick and have to miss ACL?

Any ticketholders who contract COVID are asked to send a copy of their positive test result, their ACL order number and specific ticket details — including which weekend you’re attending — to info@aclfestival.com. From there, they can be refunded.

The COVID test result submitted must meet the following criteria:

  • The test can’t be an at-home test
  • The test result has to include your name, date and positive result
  • If you’re looking to refund multiple tickets, everyone in your party is also required to submit their test results

Those who’ve had COVID and are still in their five-day isolation window are also eligible for a refund and are asked to share their positive test result, ACL order number and specific ticket details to info@aclfestival.com as well.

The deadlines to submit a COVID refund request are:

  • Weekend 1: Request due by Sunday, Oct. 9 at noon CT
  • Weekend 2: Request due by Sunday, Oct. 16, at noon CT

Those who have had COVID recently and are beyond the five-day isolation window are not eligible for a refund. If they cannot attend the festival anymore, they are eligible to use Ticketmaster’s Verified Ticket Exchange to resell their tickets. Those tickets can be listed online under a user’s Front Gate Tickets account.

The only exemptions for those resales are for people who purchased tickets via the AMEX presale, per ACL organizers.

What COVID, monkeypox precautions are in place?

While there isn’t any specific testing or vaccination requirements at ACL this year, APH outlined several prevention strategies to protect people from spreading COVID, monkeypox or influenza. Those include:

  • Being fully clothed, avoiding skin-to-skin contact with strangers
  • Washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer frequently
  • Limiting close and/or intimate contact to people you know (including sharing drinks, blankets, etc.)
  • Practicing social distancing around large groups
  • Wearing a well-fitted mask when close to others and social distancing isn’t possible (mask-wearing helps reduce the sharing of any mouth or nasal fluids)

There are also key symptoms for all three illnesses. If you are exhibiting symptoms, you are asked to stay home.

  • COVID: Fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, shortness of breath, congestion/runny nose, headache, muscle aches.
  • Flu: Fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, headache, muscle aches.
  • Monkeypox: Pimple or blister-like rash, fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, swollen lymph nodes.

APH offers both PCR and rapid antigen at-home tests for anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Those can also be purchased or taken at area pharmacies, in addition to flu shots.

Monkeypox testing is available through healthcare providers, and people who are eligible to receive a monkeypox vaccine can through APH and its healthcare partners.

“We’re excited to be able to return to our favorite activities thanks to all the tools that are widely available in our community,” APH Director Adrienne Sturrup said in a release Thursday. “I encourage everyone to get up to date with their vaccines and after attending a large gathering, test if you feel any symptoms, even if it’s a sniffle.”