March 12, 2021

COVID Protocol Across the US: What You Need to Know About Events in 2021

It has been a year since the events industry was shut down over night to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As we enter into the vaccine phase of this pandemic, things will begin to open (and we couldn’t be more thrilled!), but it will not be an immediate transition. To best manage expectations of the near future of events, we are comparing the safety protocol that has been implemented in three different states; California, Colorado, and New York. Without further ado, here are the current recommendations for events in 2021:


The current CA state Health Orders and Mandates do not permit lawful events throughout the State of California. Some venues have restaurant licenses so have been operating as such, following state/county guidelines for dining.

Special event ceremonies are permitted following specific guidelines based on the county’s tier status.

– Widespread (purple): Outdoor ceremonies allowed; Indoor permitted with 25% capacity.
– Substantial (red): Indoor ceremonies permitted at 25% capacity.
– Moderate (orange): Indoor ceremonies permitted at 50% capacity.
– Minimal (yellow): Indoor ceremonies permitted at 50% capacity.

So, what exactly constitutes a ceremony? Ceremonies are considered a formal occasion, typically to celebrating a particular event. According to the CA mandates, ceremonies should not serve or allow food or beverages to guests.

Wedding receptions are permitted under the gatherings guidance for up to three households outdoors or indoors in Tiers Substantial (red), Moderate (orange), and Minimal (yellow). The household count includes everyone present.

Please visit CAPE California or California Events Coalition more information and insight to the events industry within California specifically.


Under current restrictions, events can follow the restaurant guidelines and capacity restrictions. This includes parties being seated, no shared activities, and performers are at least 12 feet from guests. A “seated” event is when guests have minimal movement, such as using the restroom facilities.

Professional performing arts groups can apply for permission to conduct indoor performances or rehearsals, without an audience, in counties where indoor events are closed (i.e., counties in Level Red). View the instructions for how to apply for permission to perform indoors in Level Red counties.

Venues must limit capacity based on their size, considering square footage and appropriate limits in the current county. Here is a look at the current levels of restrictions for event venues in Colorado:

– Level Green (Protect Our Neighbors): indoor events may be conducted at 50% of the posted occupancy limit not to exceed 500 people per room. Guests do not need to be seated.
Level Yellow (Concern): 50% of posted occupancy limit not to exceed 50 people per room for both seated and unseated events. Establishments larger than 7,200 square feet may use the Distancing Space Calculator to expand to no more than 150 patrons within their usable space for unseated events. Seated events using 6 feet of distancing between parties also may not exceed 150 patrons.
– Level Orange (High Risk): for unseated events, 25% of posted occupancy limit or up to 50 people using the Distancing Space Calculator, whichever is fewer. For seated events, 25% capacity or up to 50 people (whichever is fewer) calculated using 6 feet of distancing between parties.
Level Red (Severe Risk): Closed with a few exceptions. Educational institutions including museums, aquariums, or zoos may open indoors in order to perform educational functions, up to 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is fewer. These institutions must follow the same capacity restrictions as other indoor events in all other dial levels.
– Level Purple (Extreme Risk): Closed. 

For more information about events in Colorado, please visit the CO Event Alliance website. Additionally, the state has further information available regarding indoor and outdoor events.


As of March 5, 2021 weddings and catered events may resume across New York State, following current recommendations for events in 2021.

Here is a look at the current restrictions and guidelines for events in New York:

– Venues are restricted to 50 capacity, with no more than 150 people per event.
All patrons must be tested prior to the event.
– Sign-in with contact information required to assist with potential contact tracing.
Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, in advance.
– Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
– Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing allowed under strict guidelines.

For more information on events in New York specifically, please visit, or the event guidelines on

As we continue to ease back into large scale events, know that you have support. We are always here to answer questions, provide guidance, and assist you to ensure your next event is a safe celebration for all. The Amazáe Events team is eager to remain up to date regarding current recommendations for events in 2021, and beyond.

About Us

Learn More