Guidance for indoor events

Receptions, events, concerts, indoor markets, indoor malls, non-critical auctions, theaters, trade shows, or other indoor venues not covered in other guidance documents where these guidelines and adherence to physical distance can be maintained.

Events that can fully follow the restaurant guidelines for the entire event may operate as a restaurant and follow those guidelines and capacity restrictions. This means that parties are seated, there are no shared activities, and any performers are at least 25 feet from patrons. Please see the restaurant guidance for more details.

IF THERE IS A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 AMONG PATRONS OR EMPLOYEES

  • The event organizers must notify and cooperate with their local public health agency on next steps.

  • Local public health agency contacts can be found here.

  • Outbreak guidance for non-healthcare facilities can be found here.​​​​

Venue

  • Limit capacity depending on venue size accounting for usable square footage* with a maximum of 100 people per room. Find the capacity limits for each county dial level.

  • Capacity for square footage of usable space should be calculated using the Social Distancing Space Calculator.

  • For events where individuals are provided reserved seating and/or individuals will remain seated for the duration of the event, limit capacity to a maximum of 100 people per room. Find the capacity limits for each county dial level.

    • Events must ensure a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing between attendees or parties.

    • If an event involves both a seated and unseated portion, it must calculate capacity for the unseated portion using the Social Distancing Space Calculator.

  • Collect contact information of guests or attendees through tactics like taking reservations, requiring RSVPs, or having sign-in sheets, and times of arrival and departure to help with potential exposure notification whenever possible.

  • Provide generous and flexible cancellation policies so that if guests start experiencing symptoms, they can cancel.

  • Ensure 6 feet or more distancing between all employees, customers, contractors and visitors.

  • Must create a queue at entrances that ensure a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing between individuals and pace entry to prevent congestion.

  • Operate on a one-in-one-out basis when at capacity.

  • Give reminders to observe 6 feet physical distancing before, during, and after events.

  • Post signage with easy to interpret graphics in commonly used languages reminding everyone to maintain 6 feet of distance, wear masks, wash hands, etc.

  • Establish single-direction traffic flow in and out of venue and seating areas. Consider separate entrances and exits.

  • If the event is catered, do not allow for self-service stations or buffets.

  • Enhance cleaning and disinfection of common touch points (doors, stairwell handles, light switch, elevator switch, etc.). CDC cleaning guidance

  • Ensure ventilation at the venue is in line with or exceeds OSHA guidance.

  • Install touchless hand sanitizing stations at entrances and in high-traffic areas.

  • Deploy plexiglass barriers where appropriate.

  • Limit, wherever possible, the sharing of tools, equipment, or other shared resources (not involved in games or activities).

  • Catering services or food services should be seated-only. Food and drink services must follow the same guidelines as restaurants and bars

  • Remove games or activities that require or encourage standing around, congregating, or shared materials. This includes things like board or recreational games, bouncy houses, ball pits, shared dance floors (not for performances), or amusement booths or rides at fairs.

    • Booths or vendors at events must:

      • Allow spacing for vendor load-in and loadout such that vendors and staff can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from each other as much as possible.

      • Add a minimum of 6 feet in between booths.

      • Create a single line of booths instead of double rows. If this is not possible, create at least a 16 feet thoroughfare between the two sides allowing for a single file, one-way path down the middle.  

      • Require vendors to have market booth layouts that promote social distancing. Provide them with the space to do this. 

      • Create one-way traffic flow through the booths to prevent crowding or mingling.

      • Use ropes, cones or tape to define the entrance, exit and flow.

 

Vendors/Employees

  • Provide guidance and encouragement on maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing.

  • Require the use of masks or face coverings whenever possible.

  • Train employees in proper use of protective equipment, and emphasize that they should refrain from face-touching.

  • Require frequent handwashing upon arrival, departure and 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 an exposed or symptomatic person (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) should not report to work and should self-quarantine.

  • Group employees into teams or shifts that stick together.

  • Encourage all employees not critical to in-person operations to continue working from home remotely.

  • Provide contactless payment methods.

  • Do not allow multiple people to handle objects, or disinfect the objects between each person.

  • Extend setup timelines to allow vendors more time to set up and not overlap.

Performers/Competitors

The below information does not replace the need for performers to wear a mask and should be followed in addition to proper mask wearing.

  • Performances with vocal speech or singing, wind or brass instruments, or activities that cause heavy breathing must be 25ft from patrons.* Performances with no forced exhalation as in the prior examples, like a piano, harp, or organ player, must be a minimum of 6ft from patrons, but 25ft is preferred.

  • Participants (e.g., players, performers, actors, competitors, entertainers, etc.) in events should have their symptoms checked, and participants who have been in close contact with an exposed or symptomatic person (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) should not participate and should self-quarantine.

  • Adopt seating and spacing modifications to increase physical distance from a performer. 

  • Where necessary, install barriers to minimize travel of aerosolized particles from performers, or implement alternative placement of performers.

  • 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 so long as they do not join the spectator/patron areas at any time. If performers join the patron spaces, they must be included in the capacity limit numbers.

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

Hosts/Attendees

  • 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 (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) to stay home and self-quarantine. 

  • Encourage frequent handwashing.

  • Attendees should refrain from mixing and mingling with others not in their household during events as much as possible.

  • Attendees should maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing from others as much as possible.

  • Face coverings are required to be worn in all public indoor spaces unless it would inhibit the individual’s health, while they are eating or drinking, or if it is not age-appropriate.

  • Populations at higher risk for severe COVID-19 should consider additional protections or staying home during this time per CDPHE guidance.

  • Encourage remote participation whenever possible.

*Research and the CDC suggest that activities like singing may project respiratory droplets in greater quantity and over greater distance, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, particularly with prolonged exposure.

Frequently asked questions

Staff are required to ensure the successful implementation of these guidelines and the safety of participants. Therefore, staff do not contribute to the capacity limit. Performers, competitors, actors, entertainers, or players are not included in capacity limits as  long as they do not join the spectator/patron areas at any time, which means keeping  at least 25 feet of distance  from spectators. If performers join the patron spaces, they must be included in the capacity limit numbers.

The Safer-at-Home phase includes caps on the total number of people that can be in any one place at a time. During this phase, we are still building the public health surge capacity to investigate and contain outbreaks. The caps on the number of people are primarily about keeping exposures limited to smaller numbers, and not the size of a facility. Once we have public health and health care systems scaled, we can expand to a greater degree of reopening. The Protect Our Neighbors phase makes greater expansion available to qualified communities.

We recognize that some facilities can hold substantially more than 50 people. Facilities that can meet the higher standard presented by the calculator can expand past 50, up to 100 people. 

Indoor market managers may use this guidance to set up their markets and have different designated areas of activity. Individuals retailers within indoor markets and malls must follow retail guidance.

Yes, arcade games are permitted at both indoor and outdoor events when following the best practices described in the indoor and outdoor events guidance. 

  • Indoor arcades themselves may open up to 50% capacity or a maximum of 50 people per room, whichever is fewer. 

    • Extra large venues that would like more than 50 patrons may use the calculator for indoor events to determine how many additional patrons they can accommodate indoors, up to 100 patrons total per room, which is the indoor variance limit for “medium” viral transmission.

  • 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