The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) became the latest Toronto entity to institute a vaccination policy today, mandating proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to gain entry to all festival venues for its 2021 edition.
In a press release, TIFF announced that audience members and visitors “will be required to show either proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to entering any TIFF venue.”
It is the responsibility of the individual audience member to schedule and pay for their tests. The only venues where the policy doesn’t apply are the festival’s two drive-in locations at Polson Pier and Ontario Place, where moviegoers will be isolated within their vehicles.
The festival had announced a masking policy for all attendees earlier this month, but the vaccination mandate comes amid a wave of similar announcements from both the public and private sector, with TIFF’s policy roughly in line with those of other major entertainment venues.
Per the festival’s updated policies, regular COVID tests will still be required for journalists who covering TIFF’s red carpets, and TIFF’s own staff – photographers, drivers, programmers, backstage and red-carpet teams – who will be interacting with talent will also be required to take a rapid antigen test every 48 hours.
Festival staff, audience members and visitors entering #TIFF21 venues from September 9–18 will be required to show either proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to entering any TIFF venue. pic.twitter.com/UbnaYxzuzS— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) August 23, 2021
Masks will still be required at all festival venues, with face shields provided to those unable to wear a mask for health reasons. If someone refuses the face shield, they will be refused entry and their ticket refunded.
TIFF had previously announced a health-care partnership with Medcan, which will conduct PCR tests for festival guests, executives and staffers at a site near the festival. Audience members, visitors and media will be required to pay for their own COVID tests.
Mirvish Productions, MLSE, Live Nation and the Toronto Blue Jays have also announced proof-of-vaccination policies.