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TIFF makes proof of vaccine, negative COVID-19 test mandatory for staff, audience

Last Updated Aug 23, 2021 at 4:33 pm EDT

A man walks on a red carpet displaying a sign for the Toronto International Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Hundreds of workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight are set to receive virtual tickets to one of the hottest titles at the Toronto International Film Festival. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 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.


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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.”

Mirvish Productions says it will only allow fully vaccinated people into its venues for its upcoming season, which includes a Canadian production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and the return of musical hits “Hamilton” and “Come From Away.”

The Toronto theatre giant made the announcement in a news release for its new lineup, saying the vaccination rule applies to people onstage, backstage and in the audience.

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