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A vaccination mandate for all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City will be in place through October 2021, with an additional mask mandate for all audience members, The Broadway League announced.
The agreement between the League and Broadway’s theater owners and operators spans performers, backstage crew, theater staff and audiences, with guests also required to wear masks inside the theater, except when eating or drinking in a venue’s designated locations. A review of the announced policies is expected in September for performances beginning in November 2021 and could include a relaxation of some provisions if the science dictates.
“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,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said. “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.”
The mandate will require attendees to be fully vaccinated and they must show proof of an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine alongside their valid ticket at the time of entry. Under the policy, “fully vaccinated” for two-dose COVID-19 vaccines requires guests to have received their second dose with at least 14 days between the second shot and the performance date. Audience members who receive a single-dose vaccine are only eligible for entry at least 14 days after their vaccination.
Exceptions will be made for children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. In order to enter a venue, these guests will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test that was taken within 3 days — or a full 72 hours — ahead of the performance start time. A negative COVID-19 antigen test taken by an unvaccinated guest within 6 hours of the performance start time is also acceptable.
“With these procedures in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among NYC audiences, Broadway continues to make safety our priority,” Nick Scandalios of The Nederlander Organization said on behalf of theater owners in a statement. “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.”
Current ticket holders for performances through Oct. 31, 2021 will be notified by theater owners and operators of the mandates, along with continued reminder messages that aim to ensure awareness of the new Broadway policies.
The announcement follows a joint deal between Actors’ Equity and the Broadway League that requires vaccination for Broadway’s workforce, in addition to weekly testing for theater employees and improved HVAC standards for venues.
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