Broadway to Require Cast, Crew and Audiences to Be Fully Vaccinated

St. James Theatre

Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images.

Cast, crew and audiences on Broadway are now required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, announced the national trade association for that industry and a performing arts labor union.

The Broadway League and Actors’ Equity announced on Thursday the cast and crew safety protocols, which include requiring those who are unvaccinated to “continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing when possible and undergo testing at least twice a week,” reported Broadway News. This applies to those under 12 years old who are currently ineligible to get the vaccine.

There are exceptions to the vaccination requirement for those who are disabled or have a sincere religious belief. Those people can seek an accommodation from their producer.

The protocols also include requiring an on-site Covid-19 safety manager and updated ventilation systems.

Furthermore, stage door greetings and backstage tours are forbidden. Box offices should try to “go cashless,” according to the protocols.

“This is an important milestone on the path to getting all our members safely back to work,” said Actors’ Equity executive director Mary McColl in a statement. “We are grateful to the League for their partnership on these protocols. We all feel this plan is robust, adaptable to changing conditions and in line with the science. Vaccines work, and those who are vaccinated will protect both themselves and those who can’t be at this time.”

On Friday, the Broadway League announced that audience members will be required to be vaccinated and wear masks except when eating or drinking in designated areas. Those under 12 years old or those who have a sincere religious belief “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.” However, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall will bar those under 12 years old. The requirement runs at least through October.

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