Broadway Announces Proof of Vaccination and Mask Mandate for All Audiences

·2 min read
Broadway Theaters
Broadway Theaters

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Those looking to catch a show on the Great White Way will now have to bring their mask and COVID-19 vaccination card.

The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, announced on Friday that audiences must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering any venue. They must also be masked at all times, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.

Vaccinations will also be required for performers, backstage crew, and staffers in all 41 theaters in New York City.

The mandate is set to last through October, though it may relax later in the year "if the science dictates," the association confirmed in a news release.

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"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, the President of the Broadway League, said in a statement.

"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," St. Martin added.

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Exceptions can be made for children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Instead of showing proof of vaccination, those exempted guests must 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.

"With these procedures in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among N.Y.C. audiences, Broadway continues to make safety our priority," Nick Scandalios of The Nederlander Organization, the largest operator of theaters in the United States, added.

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"As we get ready for Broadway's big comeback, the entire theatre community is committed to the highest level of public health standards," Scandalios said. "We're all eager to welcome our many patrons and fans back to the magic of Broadway."

In May, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Broadway could reopen at 100 percent capacity on Sept. 14 after more than a year since productions were halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, Pass Over — a play by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu — is slated to be the first show to return since Broadway's yearlong shutdown with a scheduled reopening date of Aug. 4.

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