Guidance for outdoor events

Updated May 28, 2021.

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These guidelines are for outdoor receptions, events, fairs, rodeos, auctions, concerts, outdoor markets, and other outdoor venues.



  • Capacity limits are determined by each county’s local restrictions. Consult your local public health agency for more information about local regulations.
  • Collect contact information for guests or attendees through ticket sales, reservations, RSVPs, or having sign-in sheets. Include times of arrival and departure, to help with potential exposure notification.
  • Provide generous and flexible cancellation policies so that if guests start experiencing symptoms, they can cancel.
  • Encourage 6 feet or more distance between all employees, customers, contractors and visitors.
  • Consider creating a queue at entrances and exits that ensures a minimum of 6 feet of physical distance between individuals and pace entry and exit to prevent congestion.
  • Establish single-direction traffic flow in and out of venue and seating areas. Consider separate entrances and exits.
  • Consider staggered guest arrival and departure times to avoid congregating at entrances and exits.
  • Give reminders to observe at least 6 feet social distance before, during, and after events.
  • Unvaccinated people are encouraged to wear masks in crowded settings, especially indoors. Venues may require attendees to wear masks.
  • Seating at events  should be appropriately spaced, to reduce mingling between individuals in different households.
  • Enhance cleaning and sanitization of common touch points (doors, stairwell handles, light switches, elevator switches, etc.).
  • Food and drink services should follow the same guidelines as restaurants and bars.
  • Install hand sanitizing stations at entrances and in high-traffic areas.
  • Consider shorter event duration times or limited admission windows to reduce the need for patrons to use restroom facilities, which can be a source of transmission.
  • Install plexiglass barriers where appropriate.
  • The venue operator for an event with multiple vendors and/or performers/competitors is responsible for ensuring all vendors/performance groups are aware of and adhering to COVID-19 policies and procedures.
  • Vendors should be familiar with the CDPHE Workplace Outbreak Guidance and apply all recommendations for prevention and mitigation that are outlined in that document to their operation.
  • Encourage handwashing upon arrival, departure and frequently throughout the day. 
  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring and symptom screening questions where possible) (Additional Guidance) and encourage sick employees to use the CDPHE symptom support tool.
  • Employees who have been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 (generally within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes, depending on level of exposure) should not report to work and should self-quarantine, unless they have been fully vaccinated.
  • Group employees into teams or shifts that stick together to limit mixing between different teams or shifts.
  • Provide contactless payment methods.
  • Extend setup timelines to allow vendors more time to set up and not overlap.
  • Participants (e.g., players, performers, actors, competitors, entertainers, etc.) in events should be checked for fevers, symptoms, and exposures before or at arrival. 
  • Participants (e.g., players, performers, actors) who have been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 should not participate and should self-quarantine, unless they have been fully vaccinated.
  • Where necessary, implement alternative placement of performers. If spacing is not possible, in some situations it may be suitable to install barriers to minimize transmission of aerosolized particles.
  • Maximize physical spacing between performers on-stage.
  • Performers should use a separate entrance/exit than patrons where possible.
  • Performers are not included in capacity limits as long as they do not join the spectator/patron areas at any time and remain at least 12 feet  from attendees. If performers join the patron spaces, they must be included in the capacity limit numbers.
  • Clean high touch areas and equipment such as microphones, instruments, props, etc. between uses.
  • Encourage attendees to stay home if sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Consider screening attendees for fever, symptoms, or exposures before or at their arrival.
  • Encourage attendees who have been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 (generally within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes, depending on the level of exposure) to stay home and self-quarantine, unless they have been fully vaccinated. 
  • Encourage frequent handwashing.
  • Unvaccinated people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 should consider additional protections.
Frequently asked questions

Outdoor markets may use this guidance to set up their markets. Individuals retailers within outdoor markets should refer to retail guidance.

Yes. Arcade games should follow the best practices described in the indoor and outdoor events guidance. 

  • Indoor arcades themselves may follow the same guidance as indoor unseated events.

  • Arcades with food service should follow restaurant guidance for designated dining areas. 

    • Dining areas and activities should be separated from gaming areas as much as possible. 

  • Disinfect high-touch areas and equipment such as: gaming machines and equipment, microphones, instruments, props, etc. between uses.

  • Limit gaming group size to no more than 4 people and maintain at least 6 feet distancing between groups.

  • Lower or turn off volume on games to reduce the need to speak loudly as forced exhalation increases the risk of transmission