TIFF to require proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 test for staff, audience

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TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival says it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result for staff, audience members and visitors entering its venues.

Organizers say people will need to show proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by Health Canada or provide a negative test from within 48 hours of entering any of the festival venues.

The vaccination and testing rules don’t apply to outdoor drive-in venues.

TIFF protocols announced earlier this month did not require proof of vaccination for staff, talent and media entering festival grounds, but insisted on masks at all festival venues, and regular testing.

Other precautions that remain include mobile tickets instead of printed passes, no rush ticketing or indoor lineups and no concessions sold at indoor venues.

TIFF runs from Sept. 9 to 18. Tickets are slated to go on sale Tuesday.

Toronto’s movie marathon is the latest film festival to announce a proof of vaccination requirement for audience members.

The Telluride Film Festival in Colorado and the Venice Film Festival, both of which start early next month, have also mandated vaccination proof or a negative test for entry.

The Sundance Film Festival, which doesn’t begin until January 2022, announced similar protocols.

“TIFF has taken great care and consideration in implementing these TIFF specific protocols to mitigate risk to audiences and guests attending TIFF,” TIFF co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey said Monday in a release.

“We have relied on municipal and provincial medical direction and advice on rapid testing and we expect this will provide another level of clarity and comfort for all 2021 festival goers.”