Broadway’s mask-and-vax policy will remain in effect at least through April, regardless of New York State’s plan to ease up on mask mandates.
With Broadway box office finally showing some signs of improvement following months of dwindling attendance and sick cast members during the early-winter Omicron surge, the industry apparently is in no mood to take risks on health, safety and business.
The Broadway League, the trade group representing theater owners and producers, notes on its website, “The owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theatres in New York City will continue to require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theatre staff, for all performances through April 30, 2022. Masks will continue to be required for audiences inside the theatre, except while actively eating or drinking in designated locations.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said today that tomorrow the state will end its indoor mask mandate requiring masks be worn inside businesses where vaccination status is not checked. The mandate will remain in effect for schools and childcare centers, healthcare centers, homeless shelters, state-run nursing homes and correctional facilities.
Hochul has indicated that cities, towns and businesses throughout the state will be free to maintain mask mandates. New York City requires proof of vaccination to enter various businesses such as restaurants, entertainment venues and fitness centers, but mask policy is left to the businesses. That won’t change under the new state policy.
The Broadway industry was among the early adopters of stringent Covid policies, setting its mask and vaccine requirement last July, with extensions arriving like clockwork every few months. The latest extension, through April, keeps the policy in place through the end of the Broadway 2021-22 season.
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