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Broadway shows expected to stay closed until September

Broadway stars stream performances for charity

Broadway theaters shuttered their doors in March when coronavirus cases began to swell in New York City. Now, shows may not reopen until after Labor Day, as theaters are offering refunds and exchanges for all tickets purchased through September 6.

The Broadway League announced the update on Tuesday, saying the date to resume performances is still yet to be determined, and all shows are suspended due to COVID-19 until further notice. 

Originally, Broadway theaters lowered their curtains for the last time at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 and planned to continue the shutdown through April 12. That decision came after an usher who worked at two Broadway shows, "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" and "Six," tested positive for the virus. The shutdown has already been extended once since then.

However, social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders have remained in place, and parts of New York state won't begin to reopen until May 15, with the city expected to reopen later even later. So the closure on Broadway has been extended again, much like most other things.

Coronavirus EMergency In New York
All Broadway theaters in New York City were shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020. NurPhotoErin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Other theaters, museums, sporting events and large gatherings also remain off limits. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state's eventual reopening will happen in four phases, but so far only three upstate regions have met all the criteria for reopening some business activity after May 15.

The first businesses that can open will include construction, manufacturing, and retail with curbside pickup. Additionally, landscaping and gardening businesses and drive-in theaters will be allowed to open statewide, the governor said. Cuomo said the state also is relaxing restrictions on low-risk outdoor activities such as tennis.

However, going to the theater, where space is tight, won't be included as an approved social activity for now. 

Those with tickets for Broadway performances through September 6, 2020 will receive an email explaining the refund and exchange options. Anyone with tickets to touring Broadway performances in other cities across the U.S. may also be affected and are advised to visit the show or venue's official website for information. 

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