All 41 Broadway theaters will require audience members to show proof of vaccination for entry.
Audience members must wear masks while inside the theater, except when eating or drinking in specific locations. Exceptions to the vaccination requirement include children under the age of 12 or those who are unvaccinated due to a medical condition or closely held religious belief.
Those individuals must provide 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 six hours of the performance start time.
The policies are currently in place through Oct. 31. These measures are scheduled to be reevaluated in September for shows starting in November and beyond.
The decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations for audience members was made by the Broadway theater owners. The announcement comes one day after the Broadway League and Actors’ Equity announced mandated vaccination for all Broadway casts and crews.
“With these procedures in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among NYC audiences, Broadway continues to make safety our priority,” said Nick Scandalios, executive vice president of the Nederlander Organization. “As we get ready for Broadway’s big comeback, the entire theatre community is committed to the highest level of public health standards. We’re all eager to welcome our many patrons and fans back to the magic of Broadway.”
This week, the Centers for Disease Control issued new recommendations calling for vaccinated individuals to wear masks inside public places in areas with high COVID-19 case rates. New York City is currently one of those areas, but the state and city have not yet said whether those recommendations will become mandates.
“Springsteen on Broadway,” which began performances on June 26, and “Pass Over,” which is scheduled to begin performances Aug. 4, had already set similar vaccine requirements for audience members. The industrywide policy on vaccination comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Broadway is preparing for a large reopening starting in September, with “Hadestown” and “Waitress” starting performances Sept. 2 and “Hamilton,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” “Chicago” and “Lackawanna Blues” resuming performances Sept. 14. In total, close to 30 Broadway productions are scheduled to resume performances before Oct. 31.
“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. “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.”