Event planning industry sees shift as COVID-19 cases continue to drop

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- The events and entertainment industry are beginning to drop COVID-19 precautions ahead of the summer season.

This week, Summerfest organizers announced they do not plan to implement mask requirements, vaccination policies or negative COVID-19 tests. This comes as other major events are doing the same.

The Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in April are also dropping precautions, signaling a possible shift in the event planning industry.

Olivia Szozda, lead wedding planner at Blue Fancy Events, says when the pandemic first began, they saw a lot of cancellations.

"It was very unfortunate and really hard on a lot of our brides," she said.

Szozda says while the pandemic continues to impact the event industry, they're in a much better position than where they were last year.

"Now we're seeing a lot of hope. We definitely do have couples that are still precautious. Especially with older guests…it's kind of 50/50," she said.

With uncertainty still lingering, the need for flexibility is top of mind.

"We do have brides and grooms and couples who are having that hope of no restrictions at all and seeing a lot more weddings like 2018, 2019 where things are just more normal, more open, hopeful and happy. So we are definitely seeing an increase in less restrictions, which is awesome," said Szozda.

Dr. Dan Shirley, medical director for infection prevention at UW Health, says Wisconsin health officials are keeping a close eye on changes and waiting for more guidance from the CDC.

“Moving into summer there are some benefits," he said. "People can go outside, and generally speaking, this decreases the risk of passing this kind of infection."

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