Broadway’s mask-and-vaccine policy will remain in effect at least through April despite New York City’s just-announced easing of Covid rules.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced today that the Covid vaccine “passports” policy across New York City, which require showing proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and other indoor venues, will be lifted on Monday, March 7.
The city’s new policy provides considerable leeway in allowing individual industries and businesses to set their own protocols and requirements. Asked by a reporter whether the new policy would extend to Broadway, Adams said, “Broadway will make their determination and we’ll respect that, but we’re lifting our mandates.”
In a statement to Deadline, Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League representing theater owners and producers, said, “Our current guidance is through April 30 and we are scheduled to update that guidance on April 1. Discussions are held weekly on our protocols and at this point, there is no change to our guidance. We will, of course, let you know when it changes.”
New York City Lifts Covid Vaccine Mandate For Indoor Venues, Ends Public School Mask Requirement
Broadway’s latest decision to hold firm on its policy reaffirms its decision made early in February when New York State eased up on statewide mask mandates. Broadway venues require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theater staff, and masks are required for audiences inside the theatre, except while actively eating or drinking in designated locations.
Broadway’s most recent box office figures suggest that the mask-and-vax requirement is not proving detrimental to the industry overall: Last week, 92% of available seats were filled and box office receipts climbed 5% over the previous week to $23,004,259. The capacity percentage figure shows a major rebound from the 60%-ish numbers of the Omicron surge weeks in early January.
The decision to maintain the current Broadway policy comes as the industry gears up for a big increase in production: This spring, at least 16 new productions will arrive on stage, nearly doubling the number of shows running now.
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