Broadway theaters in New York City will require proof of COVID vaccinations for audience members, performers and other workers through October, the Broadway League announced Friday. Audiences members will also be required to wear masks inside theaters.
All 41 theaters will enforce the policy, which will be reviewed in September. Groups unable to get the vaccine — children under 12, those with medical conditions, or those with closely held religious beliefs" — will need to provide a negative test result, the company said.
The decision comes as the Delta variant has caused a surge in virus cases across the country. The variant nownearly 80% of infections. CDC officials have recommended that vaccinated persons wearing masks indoors where high transmission is possible.
"A uniform policy across all New York City Broadway theatres makes it simple for our audiences and should give even more confidence to our guests about how seriously Broadway is taking audience safety," said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League.
"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," said Nick Scandalios of The Nederlander Organization. "We're all eager to welcome our many patrons and fans back to the magic of Broadway."
Large arts events in the U.S have tried to take precautions against COVID by adopting similar rules. Lollapalooza, Chicago's biggest music festival, is requiring attendees to prove their vaccination status or provide a negative COVID-19 test.
"Hamilton," "Wicked," "Hadestown," and 'The Lion King" will re-open in September and will fall under the new policy, ending the longest shutdown in Broadway's history.
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