Broadway announces vaccination requirements and mask mandates

We have been in the throes of a pandemic now for almost a year and a half. Several industries have been hit quite hard. The hospitality and travel industries have been trying to slowly reopen amidst new, more contagious variants. Businesses are dealing with state GOP leaders blocking them from vaccination and mask requirements. Broadway was hit quite hard because they had to shutter plays during the pandemic. Broadway is now reopening their shows with the caveat that those in attendance be fully vaccinated and masked. The vaccination requirement includes the audience and everyone working on the shows from the performers to the crew. There are exceptions for children under 12 and people with religious and medical exemptions. Below are a few more details from People:

Vaccinations will also be required for performers, backstage crew, and staffers in all 41 theaters in New York City.

The mandate is set to last through October, though it may relax later in the year “if the science dictates,” the association confirmed in a news release.

“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,” Charlotte St. Martin, the President of the Broadway League, said in a statement.

“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,” St. Martin added.

Exceptions can be made for children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Instead of showing proof of vaccination, those exempted guests 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 6 hours of the performance start time.

“With these procedures in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among N.Y.C. audiences, Broadway continues to make safety our priority,” Nick Scandalios of The Nederlander Organization, the largest operator of theaters in the United States, added.

[From People]

I understand that a lot of industries need to get back to work. I am skeptical of industries that rely on packed crowds reopening. COVID is mutating at a rapid rate because of all of the very willing hosts. Lollapalooza in Chicago had over 385,000 in attendance over four days. About 180,000 attended the Megan Thee Stallion set alone. A lot of these concerts, festivals and plays are becoming petri dishes for the spread of COVID despite people being vaccinated. At this point I am ordering silk and cotton pajamas, slippers and a robe to prepare to be hunkered down this fall. Folk can’t chill for a bit until we can get past this damn virus so that we CAN go back to life as usual. I understand that Broadway needs to make its money and people want to get back to some sort of normalcy, but I worry that we will end up causing more harm than good and creating a super bug. I am glad that Broadway is trying to be responsible and is requiring masks. I need folks to truly grasp that the vaccine doesn’t keep you from getting COVID or even spreading it. The vaccine just keeps you from dying. Either way, I personally will not be going into a theatre, play, concert or festival for the next two years at least. At this point crowds freak me out too much.

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19 Responses to “Broadway announces vaccination requirements and mask mandates”

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  1. JanetDR says:

    We have not stopped masking at work (special ed preschool) once we went back to in person, so I have zero problem masking. Last fall it was adults catching the virus and spreading it in classrooms when they were not following distancing protocols, this spring just unvaccinated adults, and now , it’s the children. You couldn’t pay me enough to take my mask off at work. I am digging out my masks with filters this morning because half the kids were out yesterday. A pity that we can’t all be onboard and are headed in the wrong direction.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I wonder if there has been any track of the effect of the Springsteen shows, which opened back up a month or two ago. I think in general the theater is smaller, and I don’t know if he’s playing to full capacity, and obviously you have fewer people involved – its just him (I don’t even think he has a backup guitarist or anyone there) and the crew involved is going to be a lot less than for something like Hamilton or Lion King. But he’s been back open now for a few months I think, so it would be interesting if there were reports of uptick after those performances.

    I think its so hard because when many of these shows announced their reopenings, it was a few months ago when things looked a lot more promising than they look now. People (*raises hand*) are getting scared again and doubting that the vaccines work – they DO work, your chance of getting infected is a lot lower with the vaccine, and you are more protected from significant illness with a vaccine. but they aren’t a magic bullet and they never were promised as such.

    • FHMom says:

      I have tickets for September. I’m pretty sure that each performance will be packed I’m dying to get my family tickets to a show for XMas, but the prices and the pandemic are keeping me from purchasing as this point. I really feel for the performers, though. They had no income at all.

  3. Celebitchy says:

    Please note that if there is a troll just comment “troll” and we can zap them. Do not respond to their antivax bullsh-t. Thanks!

  4. Aang says:

    The college where I teach only mandated masks for unvaccinated but I don’t trust the students. Kept my mask on all summer. It’s the last week of summer classes and I’m seriously considering turning down fall classes. My catastrophizing brain sees a new mutant form that will put us back to square one, or kill us all. And all the international travel! From Hollywood swanning around Europe, with children in tow, to all my acquaintances who seem to be in the Caribbean. Omg! Can people just stay home for a while longer? My husband has 6 weeks of pto at this point amd he’ll have another 10 days by the end of the year. He needs to use it or it will start to go away in January. He’s got next week off and we are just going to hang at our summer place instead of even traveling within the US. And maybe the same for the three weeks he took in December. We were hoping for Mexico but it looks like another staycation. I’m so pissed at Florida that I’m not sure I’ll ever step foot in that trash basket of a state ever again. I’d plan for CA but the thought of getting a plane right now makes me 🤮.

    • Becks1 says:

      The amount of people on my FB and IG who are in Europe right now is blowing my mind. I’m hoping they are all vaccinated and the countries are all following strict protocols for tourists but man, its insane. I didn’t realize I had so many friends who had Greece trips planned.

      • Oya says:

        A lot of my friends had to use their credits from trips booked back in 2020 before the pandemic or they will lose them. So I am sure many are traveling to avoid losing a lot of money. If they are vaccinated and not hanging in crowds it shouldn’t be too bad.

  5. Snappyfish says:

    We have tickets for ‘SIX’ the end of September. We were about to see it when Broadway closed last year. We are all vaccinated & wear masks in public (still) but plan on seeing how things go & what the CDC says closer to the date. After seeing photos of Lollapalooza, which was horrifying, I am beginning to question whether I have seriously overestimated the intelligence of Americans

  6. Merricat says:

    We put off our summer vacation to the mountains and are pinning our hopes on a shorter trip in the fall. Fingers crossed.

  7. Katherine says:

    The level of denial so many people have been exhibiting throughout this whole thing is something else. But what is apparent at this point – we can’t make these people see things our way and will have to endure the pandemic for longer because part of the society just can’t reliably social distance, wear masks, vaccinate. Sigh. It is what it is.

  8. veee says:

    sadly, it makes sense that kids are willing to risk it to go to lollapalooza and rolling loud or whatever.

    this is their finite youth, and a lot of them feel like they live on a dying planet and won’t make it to old age anyways, so just have to enjoy the moment. they are somewhat nihilistic or fatalistic, but it’s their way of coping with the world they are inheiriting.

    • MrsRobinson says:

      In my city, 93 percent of kids 12-17 are vaccinated and only 60 percent of 25-34 year olds. they’re inheriting the same messed up world…

  9. Midge says:

    The biggest problem with these events, movie theaters, and with flying, too, is the refreshments. People take off their masks to eat or drink and then leave them off. Sure, open up, but mask up and do not take off the mask.

  10. MrsRobinson says:

    As someone who works for a dance company, seeing Lollapalooza is frustrating as we’re trying so hard to find a safe way back to live performances. The under 12s are the challenge right now, offstage and on, for Nutcracker.
    Totally understandable that people won’t go back to the theater for a few years. Just hard as so many nonprofit performing arts orgs won’t survive.

  11. Raspin says:

    I’m seeing Hamilton in October. Got the email from them yesterday. I was always planning on wedding a mask in the theater, now I just need tic remember to being my vaccination card.

  12. Tursitops says:

    I hope that the issues with the acceptance of mixed vaccinations will be resolved between the Canadian and US governments soon. We want to bring our tourist dollars to your shores, but won’t be able to attend these types of events under the current regulations.

    Are citizens of other countries in the same situation?

  13. Concern Fae says:

    One note on the vaccine and COVID. What appears to be happening with the positive tests is that the virus gets into the nose, lives and is spread from there, but the vaccine kills it when it gets to the lungs, which have more blood-flow interaction. Which is why people test positive for COVID and can spread it, but don’t get sick. The people who do get sick are having some sort of breakthrough, likely because something in their immune system made the vaccine not as effective.

    I heard the vaccine compared to the birth control pill. Yes, it works. Yes, a small number of people do get pregnant while on it.

    There is a small indie movie theater in my heavily vaccinated neighborhood. There isn’t a parking lot, so the audience is mostly locals who can walk. They require masks. I think I’ll be going back soon.

  14. Ann says:

    My daughter’s partner is a performer and has really struggled due to the Broadway shutdown. I support the re-opening with the mask and vaccine requirements. People need to make a living, and the performers and audience members who have been and will be responsible shouldn’t have to pay anymore for other’s selfishness and stupidity.

    I can understand if some people still won’t feel comfortable attending, of course. But the show must go on.