Broadway Will Require Audiences To Be Vaccinated For Covid & Masked Except When Eating Or Drinking
UPDATE, with details The Broadway League announced today that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City will require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theatre staff, for all performances through October 2021.
Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theaters, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.
Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League said, said in a statement that a uniform policy across all New York City Broadway theaters “makes it simple for our audiences and should give even more confidence to our guests about how seriously Broadway is taking audience safety.”
The news comes as the first play of the Broadway season – Pass Over – begins rehearsals in advance of the start of preview performances on Aug. 4. The production was one of several that had already announced a mandatory vaccine policy for audience members.
Speaking on behalf of the theater owners, Nick Scandalios of The Nederlander Organization said, “With these procedures in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among NYC audiences, Broadway continues to make safety our priority. As we get ready for Broadway’s big comeback, the entire theatre community is committed to the highest level of public health standards. We’re all eager to welcome our many patrons and fans back to the magic of Broadway.”
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Just yesterday, Actors’ Equity Association, the union of actors and stage managers, and the League, which represents producers and theater owners, had reached an agreement requiring mandatory vaccines for Broadway’s workforce. The League also has reached a similar agreement with the American Federation of Musicians of the US and Canada regarding touring shows, just as a touring production of Wicked is set to resume performances on August 3 in Dallas.
Under the Broadway audience policy announced today, guests will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine in order to attend a show and must show proof of vaccination at the time of entry into the theater. “Fully vaccinated,” according to the League, means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine.
Theater owners and operators will begin notifying ticket holders for performances through October 31, 2021, with reminder messaging planned to ensure awareness of the new policies. For performances in November 2021 and beyond, theater owners anticipate a review of policies in September, and, says the League, may include “a relaxation of certain provisions if the science dictates.”
In a statement, St. Martin said, “As vaccination has proven the most effective way to stay healthy and reduce transmission, I’m pleased that the theatre owners have decided to implement these collective safeguards at all our Broadway houses.”
Exceptions will be made for children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. These guests will be required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative Covid-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time.
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