The Sundance Film Festival has updated Covid protocols for its 2022 gathering in response to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.
Sundance will require all in-person attendees — employees, volunteers, contractors, general public, artists, partners, press, and industry — to be fully vaccinated, with all those who are eligible under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC( guidelines to have received booster shots, reports variety.com.
The upcoming edition, which runs from January 20 through 30, will be a hybrid event that has “flexibility for attendees to participate in-person and/or online”.
“The health safety of our community is paramount,” Sundance organisers said in a press release.
Other protocols include reduced venue capacity for festival screenings and events, as well as no eating or drinking in theatres.
Festival-operated non-theatre venues, including The Craft, The Filmmaker Lodge, The Box and The Shop, will have reduced capacity and food and beverages will not be permitted in these spaces during public programming.
Attendees will also be required to wear masks in all venues and lines.
Guests will be encouraged to continue wearing masks indoors when in public places or private shared spaces for parties or receptions, especially when not actively eating/drinking.
The Sundance Institute has partnered with PandemSafe to offer free tests to all participants and community members at specific vaccine verification and testing hubs located around the festival.
Employees, volunteers and on-site contractors are required to be tested at check-in and mid-way through the festival and encouraged to test every 48 hours throughout. Artists, press and industry are required to be tested within 48 hours prior to arrival or upon arrival.
Additional testing is required for participation in private events, with artists tested in advance of participating in Question and Answers’s, programming, and press lines.
Both PCR and rapid antigen tests will be offered and accepted as proof of a Covid test. Additionally, any FDA-approved Covid test that displays a valid date and time of test taken and valid lab result will be accepted, reports variety.com.
Sundance organisers said it will continue to “monitor the general levels of community transmission and local Covid-19 vaccination coverage in our in-person communities, working to maximize their health safety and adjust any plans as needed for the safety of our community”.