As Broadway finally makes a long-awaited return, vaccines and masks are set to be required for all audience members.
The Broadway League announced Friday that all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City will require vaccination for audience members, performers, crew, and theater staff, "for all performances through October 2021." Audience members will need to show proof of vaccination and will also be required to wear masks except when eating or drinking.
"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," Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said.
The announcement comes as new COVID-19 cases have been climbing in the United States amid the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Children under 12, for whom no COVID-19 vaccine has been approved yet, will be asked to provide a negative COVID-19 test result, as will those with "a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination," the Broadway League said. The New York Times notes, though, that the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall will go further, barring children under 12 from attending since they can't yet be vaccinated.
The Broadway League says its policies will be reviewed in September and could be relaxed for performances beginning in November "if the science dictates."