Attending Formula One in Austin? Here's what you need to know about COVID protocols, safety
Gearing up to attend Formula One races at Circuit of the Americas this weekend? Then bring a mask and proof of a negative COVID-19 test if you plan to use some of the venue's indoor spaces.
Circuit of the Americas organizers have released COVID-19 protocols for the weekend of racing, which only apply to those planning to use the Tower Club, Club SI, Circuit Suite and Chairman's Suite.
All guests planning to use the indoor ticketed spaces, if more than 50 people are gathered at once, must provide printed proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken after Wednesday in order to get a wristband. Results from rapid tests will be accepted, according to event organizers.
Masks will not be required to enter the indoor spaces, but they are recommended, according to the COVID-19 protocols.
The Formula One pandemic protocols will differ from those enforced at Austin City Limits Music Festival earlier this month because Circuit of the Americas did not need to acquire a special events permit, which would include a pandemic health and safety plan.
As a result, Circuit of the Americas was able to decide its own safety plan that did not need approval from the city of Austin or Travis County.
"Austin Public Health certainly recommends if anyone is attending any event, they continue to follow recommendations suggested in our risk-based guidelines to stay safe and help prevent another surge from happening," a statement from Austin Public Health said.
The Austin area is currently in Stage 3 of Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines, which recommend that anyone unvaccinated wear masks while shopping, dining, gathering with others or traveling.
Fully vaccinated people under Stage 3 can shop and dine indoors and gather outdoors without wearing a mask if social distancing can occur.
Even those who are at high risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19 but are fully vaccinated can safely shop indoors and gather outdoors without a face covering if they can socially distance while doing so.
Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines range from Stage 1 up to Stage 5, with Stage 5 indicating the highest threat level for community spread of the coronavirus. Each stage is partly determined using the rolling weekly average of new daily hospital admissions for COVID-19.
The community could move to Stage 2 when the rolling average of such hospitalizations drops below 15, according to Austin Public Health. On Tuesday, the average was 17.
"While the numbers are certainly looking much better, we know it doesn't take much for COVID, especially with the delta variant, to surge and cause a spike of cases to a level that can be dangerous like we saw earlier this summer," Austin Public Health said.
The Formula One World Championship makes a few stops in the United States each year, with the Austin area serving as one of those locations since 2012.
This year, in addition to the motorsports events, Billy Joel and Twenty One Pilots plan to perform for racing fans near the track.
Some of the food vendors representing a "Taste of Texas" including Sazan Ramn, Bohemian BBQ, Tiny Pies, Bao'd Up, J's Hibachi, Cavalier, Nervous Charlie's, Wing Daddy, Kababaque, Chivata, Four Brothers, Shawarma Point, Wings N More and Amy's Ice Cream.
Other activities include ax throwing, a major league eating championship, tattooing, photo booths, face painting and hair braiding.