The Broadway League, which oversees the more than three dozen venues, will require vaccinations for guests, performers, backstage crew, and theater staff for all showings until October. Attendees will also be mandated to wear masks if they are not in designated eating or drinking locations.
“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," said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, 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.”
Those showing proof of inoculation must be fully vaccinated and have received their final shots at least 14 days prior to arriving at theaters.
Exceptions have been granted for children under the age of 12 and for people with strong religious beliefs against vaccination. People who meet these criteria must display a negative COVID-19 PCR test from the past 72 hours or show a negative antigen test taken within six hours of the performance.
Changes in coronavirus protocols have followed a shift in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Tuesday, the CDC said people should wear face coverings in some circumstances, regardless of vaccination status, reneging on previous advice that said those with both shots need not wear masks in nearly all situations.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will require all municipal workers to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, he said Monday. The requirement will affect 340,000 workers, teachers, and police officers when it effectuates around mid-September.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo later appeared to piggyback off de Blasio when he urged restaurants to serve only vaccinated customers.
"You can admit vaccinated-only people into your establishment," Cuomo said during a briefing Wednesday. "I can argue that it is a smart business practice because I want to go to a safe restaurant and I want to go to a safe theater and I want to go to a safe bar."
Cuomo also argued that restrictions could encourage more people to be vaccinated, saying, "I also think it provides a real incentive for people to get the vaccine."
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Original Author: Jake Dima
Original Location: All Broadway shows to require proof of vaccination for audience members