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Broadway theaters will require vaccine proof, masks for all guests

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

Every Broadway theater will require audience members to show proof of vaccination before purchasing tickets and to wear masks during shows due to the rapidly spreading delta variant of coronavirus.

All 41 Broadway theaters in New York City agreed to the vaccine and mask mandate, which will be in effect until at least the end of October, the Broadway League announced Friday. Vaccinated guests will only be permitted to remove their masks while drinking or eating in designated areas of the theaters.

“As vaccination has proven the most effective way to stay healthy and reduce transmission, I’m pleased that the theater owners have decided to implement these collective safeguards at all our Broadway houses,” Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement.

“A uniform policy across all New York City Broadway theaters makes it simple for our audiences and should give even more confidence to our guests about how seriously Broadway is taking audience safety,” she continued.

For a guest to be considered “fully vaccinated,” they must prove they received their second dose of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine at least 14 days prior to the performance date, the coalition of theaters said. For individuals who opted for a one-dose jab, they need to provide proof of their first dose.

When entering theaters, audience members will need to present their ticket and vaccine card.

The league said it would make exemptions for children under 12 years-old, individuals with a medical condition preventing them from getting vaccinated and people with closely held religious beliefs. Individuals who qualify for an exemption must provide proof of a recent negative coronavirus test.

“With these procedures in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among NYC audiences, Broadway continues to make safety our priority,” Nick Scandalios, executive vice president at major theater operator The Nederlander Organization, said 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,” he continued. “We’re all eager to welcome our many patrons and fans back to the magic of Broadway.”

Broadway theaters have remained shut down since the pandemic began in March 2020, The New York Times reported. Shows will return in early September.

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