Coachella and Stagecoach drop all COVID-19 restrictions, won't require masks, vaccines, or tests

The organisers of the annual Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals have announced they are dropping all COVID-19 related restrictions, including the use of masks, vaccine passes and negative tests. 

A tweet from Stagecoach Festival revealed the event would be attempting to function in a pre-pandemic state, prompting mixed reactions from music fans. 

"As we prepare to spend an incredible weekend in the desert together we are announcing that there will be no vaccination, testing or masking requirements at Stagecoach 2022, in accordance with local guidelines," the statement read. 

The festival warns customers there is "no guarantee" they won't be exposed to COVID-19. 

The official Coachella account has not yet shared the same information, however NBC reports the policy is the same for the two festivals, which are both promoted by Goldenvoice. 

While some attendees celebrated the news, others demanded a refund, calling the lack of restrictions "selfish" and "ridiculous". 

"People will die because of your decision," one Twitter user wrote. "More people will get lifelong long COVID symptoms. Wow." 

"So those attending are free to go and spread the virus, then others will bring it home to spread. I call this selfish, someone will die because of others careless partying," said another. 

"That's a hell to the no from me! @Stagecoach I want my refund," a third demanded. 

"This is a ridiculous policy. We're still in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Do your part," another tweet read. 

Meanwhile, one concertgoer told Stagecoach to ignore the critics, writing: "They're brainwashed." 

"Thank you! It's about time someone recognises the bull crap we've been seeing for two years now!" another said. 

The fine print on the Stagecoach website's health and safety section states that the rules around vaccine passes, negative tests and face coverings could change at any time, but those requirements will not be in place as it stands currently. 

A COVID-19 disclaimer also states that the virus is "an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death" and adds that there is an "inherent and elevated risk of exposure" in public places where people are present. 

"There is no guarantee, express or implied, that those attending the festival will not be exposed to COVID-19," the statement reads. 

The California Department of Public Health's new guidelines say that vaccination proof will no longer be required for large outdoor events, however Goldenvoice had already made it clear that wouldn't be necessary for its festivals. In October last year, Stagecoach and Coachella announced that either proof of vaccination or a negative test would be sufficient for entry.