If you want to attend a live performance in New York, prepare to show proof that you received your Covid shots.
The Broadway League announced Friday that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City will require viewers, performers, backstage crew and theater staff to be fully vaccinated by October.
Young children or people with medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent vaccinations can still attend shows if they have a negative Covid-19 test. You will need a PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the performance or a negative antigen test that will be performed within 6 hours of the start of the performance in order to be admitted.
“A uniform policy in all New York Broadway theaters makes it easy for our audiences and should give our guests even more confidence how seriously Broadway takes the safety of the audience,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League.
An exterior view of the Palace Theater at the premiere of “West Side Story” on Broadway at the Palace Theater on March 19, 2009 in New York City.
Neilson Barnard | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Audiences in the theater must also wear masks, except when eating or drinking in designated areas.
In September, the league will review these guidelines for November performances.
The Metropolitan Opera also requires guests, performers, orchestras, choirs, and staff to provide proof of vaccination, but face masks are optional. The opera will prohibit children under 12 from attending performances.
“The Met policy states that masks will be optional, this could change depending on prevailing health conditions. Also, unlike Broadway, we will have absolutely no exceptions to the vaccination-only policy, ”a Metropolitan Opera spokeswoman said in an email.
Guests must present proof of vaccination upon entering the theater and be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO approved vaccine. This means that guests have to wait at least two weeks after their last recordings to attend a performance.
Carnegie Hall will also require proof of vaccination from all guests, artists, staff and visitors and will ban children under the age of 12 from attending performances, a statement said.
Younger children are not yet entitled to the Covid vaccine.
The new requirements result from the rapid spread of the Delta variant across the country, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines urging people to return to wearing masks, even if they were vaccinated, in areas of the country where cases have increased. This was a reversal of the Agency’s previous policy.
The CDC warns that the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and could make people sicker than the original Covid.
Broadway will begin reopening its doors to the public at full capacity on September 14th, having closed since March 2020. New York City lost billions in tourism dollars as live performances ceased on Broadway, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
The industry received government support through a program called the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, which allocated $ 16.2 billion to keep the entertainment industry alive across the country until performances could safely return to normal.
The surge in Covid cases due to the Delta variant comes at a precarious time for the industry, which has invested in reinstating artists and other workers in preparation for the resumption of performances.