Will you need to be COVID-19 tested to get into ACL? Here’s what we know

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s some confusion about what it will take to get into one of the largest events of the year: Austin City Limits Music Festival. It’s now exactly two weeks away.

As of right now, ACL’s guidance states people can either show up with a negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours of arriving at the concert or show a vaccination card that indicates full vaccination. But does that match the City of Austin’s policy?

The city office in charge of permitting ACL recently updated its special events criteria at the start of the month to add the following rule for large events, among others:

  • Screening at event entrances by requiring in-person attendees to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the event.

What’s not clear, based on that language alone, is whether that applies to people who are vaccinated.

When asked about testing at ACL, Dr. Adrienne Sturrup, the interim director for Austin Public Health, indicated Friday people would still be able to opt out of testing by showing proof of vaccination. She also said providing testing for people at ACL would not be an “efficient practice” because of how large the event is.

She encouraged people to figure out how they would get their test, so they can have it ready to go. She said rapid tests done 24 hours before the event work too.

It doesn’t appear you will need to be tested over and over again to get into the venue on different days. The city said APH will accept a plan that requires attendees to show a negative test 72 hours before the first day of the festival weekend.

Rapid testing companies preparing

KXAN also asked ACL whether vendors, police officers, EMS and other volunteers and staff will be required to follow the testing and/or vaccination rules. While we have yet to hear back from ACL, Wendy Garner, CEO and chief executive officer at Point of Care Health Services, says they’ve had a sponsor of ACL reach out asking for rapid testing for their volunteers and staff.

Point of Care Health Services does mobile rapid testing and vaccinations. Garner says they’re preparing to do large amounts of testing or vaccinations at the event, should it be necessary.

“We’ve reached out to all of our sources so that anyone who could be available knows that we need the help,” she said. Point of Care Health Services has staff on standby.

Garner also says they’re preparing to hear from an influx of attendees wanting to get tested.

“We get calls multiple times a day from people who want to attend events. ACL is coming up, but there have been other events going on right here and now, and they’re looking for tests so that they can attend,” she said. “We hear often that they have trouble finding test appointments available at another Walgreens or a CVS.”

KXAN has again reached out to ACL to get clarification. We have also reached out to APH to ensure Sturrup’s comments match the rules listed on the Austin Center for Events page. We will update this article when we hear back.

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