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Broadway theaters to require COVID-19 shots and masks when shows reopen

CoronavirusJul 30, 2021 09:45PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Performers take part in a pop up Broadway performance in anticipation of Broadway reopening in Times Square amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 12, 2021. REUTERS/Car

By Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Broadway audiences will need masks and proof of vaccination when shows reopen in the fall, an industry association said on Friday, while the Metropolitan Opera (NASDAQ:OPRA) plans to bar children under 12, who are ineligible to be inoculated against coronavirus.

All of New York's 41 Broadway theaters are mandating documentation of full vaccination before allowing indoor entry to patrons, performers, backstage crew and theater staff for all shows, the Broadway League said in a statement. Masks are required for audience members.

The announcement comes just weeks before most Broadway theaters reopen after a 16-month COVID-19 shutdown. With the fast-spreading Delta variant picking up speed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week recommended a return to indoor mask wearing even by vaccinated people.

The policy on Broadway will stay in effect through October, and theaters may relax the rules in November "if the science dictates," the league said.

Many Broadway shows reopen in September, with "Pass Over" raising the curtain on Aug. 4 at the August Wilson Theatre. Proof of full vaccination was already required to get a seat at Bruce Springsteen's solo show, which opened on Broadway in June.

"A uniform policy makes it simple for our audiences and should give even more confidence to our guests about how seriously Broadway is taking audience safety," League president Charlotte St. Martin said in the statement.

Theaters will make exceptions for children and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination, the league said. Patrons must show 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.

Some of the city's other preeminent performing arts centers, including The Met, are fully barring children under 12 and making masks optional for the audience.

"As soon as children under the age of 12 become eligible to receive a vaccine, fully vaccinated children will be welcomed back to the Met," the iconic opera house said in a statement.

Both Broadway and the Met are opening at full capacity rather than partially to enforce social distancing, with Broadway theaters ranging in size from 600 to 1,000 seats and the Met seating 3,000, The New York Times reported.

"As we get ready for Broadway's big comeback, the entire theater community is committed to the highest level of public health standards," Nick Scandalios of The Nederlander Organization, a spokesman for theater owners, said in a statement.

"We're all eager to welcome our many patrons and fans back to the magic of Broadway."

Broadway theaters to require COVID-19 shots and masks when shows reopen
 

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Comments (7)
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Jul 31, 2021 2:57AM ET
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Go ahead add too the list of those with compromised immune systems. Get a experimental vaccine what could go wrong.
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 30, 2021 10:39PM ET
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WOW... I seem to have stumbled upon the truth forum.  Yea, I'm not the only skeptical hater of gov largess..... effin know it alls in DC......
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 30, 2021 10:37PM ET
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Oh Fabulouth!!
YouTube Account
YouTube Account Jul 30, 2021 10:16PM ET
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Not taking it. Never taking it.
CHADWICK RICHINGTON
CHADWICK RICHINGTON Jul 30, 2021 9:30PM ET
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Another reason to never see a broadway show
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Jul 30, 2021 8:56PM ET
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This reopen will never happen. And the proof needs to be of a negative test, not of vaccination. Vaccines do not prevent infection.
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 30, 2021 8:56PM ET
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Prepare for the grand opening of the re-education camps.  Brought to you by FEMA!
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 30, 2021 8:56PM ET
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...now a Broadway musical with original score by Toni Fauci!
Catherine Varns
Catherine Varns Jul 30, 2021 8:09PM ET
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Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Looks like the White House sent out a memo to all their news organizations to go back into COVID hysterics and theatrics as if we are back in March of last year, and that we need to redo everything that did not work over the past year and a half. Nothing that they are saying makes any logical sense from a public health or legal perspective. Since COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent you from getting/spreading the virus, how do these mandates make sense to anybody? Why should there only be mandatory testing for unvaccinated people if vaccinated people are also spreading the virus? Even within the White House, there was a spreads of the virus from vaccinated people due to the Texas Democrats and Nancy Pelosi's office just in the past couple of weeks. (cont. below)
Catherine Varns
Catherine Varns Jul 30, 2021 8:09PM ET
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Every other vaccine that is mandated, such as in public schools for children, is because it is the type of vaccine that prevents people from spreading the virus (i.e. once vaccinated, you do not spread the virus even if you are exposed to it). COVID-19 vaccines are not that type of vaccine, they are simply for symptomatic relief. Further, the COVID-19 vaccines are not FDA-approved and they have given vaccine manufactureres legal immunity. I can see why many people are already contacting lawyers regarding these mandates, doubt they are legal. There is no precedence of this for this type of vaccine. There are a massive number of adverse events and deaths already reported in the vaccine adverse event reporting system related to COVID-19 vaccines, more than every other vaccine in the system combined.
 
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