AceShowbiz - Theater fans returning to Broadway when the Great White Way re-opens after the COVID shutdown will have to be vaccinated against the virus.
Officials at The Broadway League have announced that the owners and operators of all 41 major theaters in New York City will require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theater staff, for all performances beginning next month (August 2021).
The rule will extend to October. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theaters.
Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, insists the new mandate "makes it simple for our audiences and should give even more confidence to our guests about how seriously Broadway is taking audience safety."
In an interview with CBS2's Kiran Dhillon, St. Martin stressed, "We have to keep people safe." She added, "There is free will and our audiences can make the decision not to return. We hope that they will, but the scientists and the facts are pretty clear that vaccinations work."
"Pass Over", the first play of the Broadway season, will start preview performances next week (August 4).
Meanwhile, Nick Scandalios of The Nederlander Organization has released a statement backing the new rules. It reads, "With these procedures in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among NYC audiences, Broadway continues to make safety our priority."
"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."